With summer ending in West Columbia, now is a great time to get a head start on air conditioner maintenance.
If you haven’t taken care of it recently, it could be full of dirt and yard refuse. This collection can limit your unit’s efficiency and cause it to break down. Or wear it down more quickly.
We suggest having your air conditioning system professionally serviced annually. Why? A clean system can be more energy efficient, which could save you money on energy costs.
Routine AC maintenance also helps our technicians spot and take care of small issues before they turn into costly problems.
Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner from Failing
Some of the work we complete includes:
- Taking a look at the blower, motor, drain line and coils
- Watching pressure and temperature
- Testing lines, refrigerant totals and connections
It’s not too late to have a tune-up done this fall—and we can get your furnace prepped for heating season too.
There’s also some upkeep you can do by yourself between professional tune-ups. It only takes about an hour to wash your outdoor condenser unit, as well as a few pieces on your indoor HVAC system.
Related: How Often Should You Expect to Get Air Conditioning Service Done?
How to Clean Your Outside AC Unit
Choose a mild day to wash your air conditioner. At least 60 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) is great. That way, you can run the unit once you’ve cleaned it.
You’ll only need a couple of 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
Five Steps to Clean the Outside Unit
1. Turn Off the Power
Cut the electricity to your air conditioner at the breaker box.
2. Clean the Outside
Empty waste from the system. This includes branches, bushes, weeds and grass.
Then turn on the vacuum to slowly clean the metallic fins. These pieces are also called condenser coils and transfer heat away from your system.
You need to be cautious with these delicate coils. Warped or crumpled fins can impact efficiency.
3. Fix Bent Fins
Use a butter knife to straighten misshapen fins. You can also get a fin comb from an appliance part retailer. A pro from Tri City Fuel & Heating should handle severe damage.
4. Clean the Inside
After taking out the fan, dig out leaves and other yard rubbish. Then clean the inside of the unit with a wet sponge.
The only coil cleaner you have to have is water. Use gentle pressure from a hose nozzle to clean the fins, directing water from the inside out. Replace the fan once you’re finished.
5. Test Your Air Conditioner
It’s safe to restore power and turn your air conditioner back on. If it’s not working properly, reach out to us a call at 803-265-4208.
Related: Air Conditioner Service: Pay a Little Now, Save Later
Three Steps to Clean the Indoor Unit
1. Turn Off the Power
Turn off the power to your furnace at the breaker box.
2. Check Your Filter
Furnace filters must be exchanged every several months, depending on the model you use.
Unsure when you last put in a new one? Remove it and hold it up to the light. If there’s no light visible, get a new one.
3. Clean the Inside
Remove the blower door and vacuum up dust.
Then inspect your air conditioner’s drain line—it’s a supple plastic tube. If it’s moldy, you can sanitize it by draining diluted bleach through the tube to sanitize the line. Or you can replace the tube.
Clean the drain port using a small, round paintbrush. Connect 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 can make your system more efficient and help it last longer. We also provide handy service agreements, so you won’t forget to schedule your annual service!