No one wants to deal with an air conditioner that quits working in the heat of the summer. With some simple AC maintenance you can prepare your air conditioner ahead of time and keep cool all season long.
The outdoor AC unit is exposed to the elements and, as a result, can collect pollen, dust, leaves and other debris. To prevent all that from getting caught in the system, be sure to thoroughly clean the unit before turning it on for the first time each year. Remove any leaves or debris that have collected at the base of the condenser and clear out the drain. Clean the coils and fins on the interior as well as the outer casing. Disconnect the power and wash the condenser coils with a hose. Gently scrub the fins with a soft toothbrush, taking care not to damage them.
Clear away leaves, plants and other debris from the area closest to the condenser. Keep a buffer of one to two feet around the condenser unit that remains free of plants or anything that can fall into or collect around the unit. Anything that obstructs airflow will reduce the unit’s efficiency and possibly cause damage. Consider covering the unit for the months that it is not in use.
The drain line is located near the indoor cooling coil and can become clogged. If this happens, water can back up in the system and spill over in your home, potentially causing water damage or mold growth. To flush out the drain line, pour a cup of bleach down the drain, followed by a gallon of water.
Change the air filter every one to three months to prevent airflow from becoming restricted. This is the easiest, most cost effective way to keep your system clean and functioning efficiently.
Look for any wear, particularly in the outside wiring which may be susceptible to damage from animals. If you discover any damage in the wiring, call your HVAC professional to have it replaced.
After cleaning, allow the unit to thoroughly dry. Test the unit by turning the thermostat to ‘off.’ Turn the power on at the disconnect box and main panel. Switch the thermostat to ‘cool.’
Your HVAC technician can do a professional maintenance check to make sure your system is working well and will be clean and ready to go for the season and all season long.