With summer coming to an end in West Columbia, now is an ideal time to get ahead on air conditioner maintenance.
If you haven’t cleaned it lately, it could be clogged with dust and yard refuse. This accumulation can decrease your unit’s efficiency and cause it to break down. Or wear it down sooner.
We advise having your air conditioning system professionally serviced every year. Why? A clean unit can be more energy efficient, which could save you money on utility bills.
Routine AC maintenance also helps our technicians spot and handle slight issues before they turn into high-priced problems.
Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner from Failing
Some of the work we perform consists of:
- Taking a look at the blower, motor, drain line and coils
- Confirming pressure and temperature
- Testing lines, refrigerant totals and connections
There’s still time to have maintenance done this fall—and we can get your furnace ready for heating season too.
There’s also some upkeep you can do by yourself between professional tune-ups. You only need about an hour to get the grime off your outdoor condenser unit, as well as a few parts on your indoor HVAC system.
Related: How Often Should You Expect to Get Air Conditioning Service Done?
How to Clean Your Outside AC Unit
Pick a temperate day to wash your air conditioner. At least 60 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) is best. That way, you can test your equipment once you’ve cleaned it.
You’ll only need a few things:
- Wet-dry vacuum and hose with a soft brush attachment
- Butter knife
- Damp rag
- Small, round paintbrush
- Replacement furnace filter (if necessary)
Related: How AC Repair and Maintenance Can Actually Save You Money
5 Steps to Clean the Outside Unit
1. Turn Off the Power
Stop the power to your air conditioner at the breaker box.
2. Clean the Outside
Empty rubbish from the equipment. This includes branches, bushes, weeds and grass.
Then use the vacuum to slowly clean the metallic fins. These parts are also called as condenser coils and move heat away from your system.
You need to be cautious with these fine coils. Misshapen or crumpled fins can affect efficiency.
3. Fix Bent Fins
Use a butter knife to straighten misshapen fins. You can also get a fin comb from an appliance parts store. A pro from Tri City Fuel & Heating Co., Inc. should fix extensive damage.
4. Clean the Inside
After taking out the fan, fish out leaves and other yard waste. Then wipe the inside of the equipment with a wet rag.
The only coil cleaner you need is water. Use light pressure from a hose nozzle to rinse the fins, showering water from the inside out. Put the fan back in once you’re done.
5. Test Your Air Conditioner
It’s safe to restore power and turn your air conditioner back on. If it’s not operating properly, give us a call at 803-265-4208.
Related: Air Conditioner Service: Pay a Little Now, Save Later
3 Steps to Clean the Indoor Unit
1. Turn Off the Power
Cut the power to your furnace at the breaker box.
2. Check Your Filter
Furnace filters should be changed every few months, depending on the kind you use.
Not sure when you last put in a new one? Remove it and hold it up to the light. If light isn’t visible, buy a new one.
3. Clean the Inside
Remove the blower door and vacuum up dust.
Then examine your air conditioner’s drain line—it’s a flexible plastic tube. If it’s scummy, you can freshen it by pouring thinned bleach through the tube to flush the line. Or you can replace the tube.
Scrub the drain port using a small, round paintbrush. Reconnect the drain tube and switch the power back on.
Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner Running Well Through Fall
Never Forget a Tune-Up Again
Annual air conditioner maintenance from Tri City Fuel & Heating Co., Inc. can make your unit more efficient and help it last longer. We also offer handy service agreements, so you won’t forget to schedule your routine service!