Cleaning Your Air Conditioner
Do you know how to maintain your air conditioner? Did you even know you were supposed to?
The good news is air conditioner maintenance is super easy and in this article, we will tell you the 8 air conditioner maintenance tips you can do on your own to help keep your air conditioner running as smooth as possible all summer long.
What Do I Need To Clean My Air Conditioner
Just like rotating the tires and changing the oil in your car, air conditioner maintenance will help prolong the life of your air conditioner, help it run more efficiently and cool your home better. You know In real estate they say the most important thing is location, location, location…well when it comes to your air conditioner the most important thing is airflow, airflow, airflow. And that’s why 3 of our air conditioner maintenance tips are related around airflow.
We’ve broken your system down into 3 major parts. The outdoor unit, the indoor unit, and the thermostat. We have tabled a list of helpful maintenance tips for all 3.
Unless you plan on using your “bear” hands, here’s a list of tools you will need –
- Garden Hose
- New Filter
- Raincoat (Optional)
- Rope Swing (Optional)
- The Outdoor Air Conditioner Unit
Your system pulls air in through the coils and blows it out the top. And if your coils are blocked it can severely decrease the efficiency of your unit. There are a couple of things you can do. The first thing you should do is cut power to the unit, the preferred method is to flip off the breaker. If you don’t have a breaker, pull the disconnect. Next, you want to clear the debris away from the unit. Two feet around is a good rule of thumb to make sure the leaves, debris and grass clippings are away from the unit. If you have bushes or shrubs you want to trim those back as well.
Take your garden hose and rinse off the coils. Reach what you can with the garden hose and spray from the inside out. Let the water flow down the coils for a while until it looks like you’ve got all the dirt off. Then spray off the debris you see on the outside. The fins on the unit are very fragile, be careful that you don’t bend them over. See if the unit looks level, if it’s too far off-centre you may want to have a professional level it up. Check the electrical connections – make sure that there are no exposed wires. Check the insulation around the lines to make sure it’s still good. Now reconnect the power, careful when you slide the disconnect back into place, you shouldn’t have to force it.
The Indoor Air Conditioner Unit
Now let’s go to the indoor unit, where your filters are. Start by cutting the power. Check the filters to make sure you can still see light through it. When replacing the filter, be sure to pay attention to the direction that the air is flowing. Make sure that the arrow on the filter lines up with the direction that the air flows through your unit. Replace filters as often as needed, this can be different for each home. So be sure to check it at least once a month. If you have a humidifier, remember to turn it off in the summer. Pour some water down the drain line to make sure that it’s not clogged. Some people add a little bleach to the water to clean the line.
The Air Conditioner Thermostat
Ok, now we’re at the thermostat. Really the only thing you need to do to check and make sure it is working properly is verify the temperature on the display matches the temperature in the room. An easy way to do that is to just get a visual read thermometer and make sure they match. As long as you’re within 3 degrees or so, you’ll be fine.
These air conditioner maintenance tips that we’ve shared with you are things that anyone can do on their own. But manufacturers actually recommend that you take it one step further. In the owner’s manual, it actually says that you should have your system inspected regularly by a properly trained technician. So, as part of your air conditioner’s maintenance, once a year, you should have a Certified ARC Australian Refrigeration Council technician come out and tune-up and inspect your unit. They’ll have the specialty tools and gauges to go more in-depth. They’ll check voltages, check the capacitor, see if there are any obvious concerns, check the refrigerant levels, those hard to reach components and more. They should review their findings with you and answer any questions that you have.
If you have a friend or neighbour that works on air conditioners, you might be able to get them to do this for you. But, if you don’t know anyone in your local market you should be able to find a certified ARC Contractor to come to your home and perform this annual service.