Air conditioners require regular maintenance so that it is operating at the highest efficiency. Keeping your air conditioner well maintained yourself will save you money and also extend its lifespan, thus reducing the need to pay for replacement or professionals. You can undertake some steps yourself in order to keep your air conditioner functioning at its full potential. The steps involved in maintaining your air conditioner are:
1. Turning it Off and Cleaning it Up
Start by turning off your air conditioner so that you can remove the fan cage. It can be removed using a screwdriver or wrench. With your hand or a piece of cloth, clean the interior areas of the air conditioner.
2. Cleaning and Straightening the Fins
Once the interior is cleaned, use a hose or cleaning spray to clean the outside fins of the air conditioner. Spray through the fins from the inside out to remove any dirt or debris. If need be, you need to straighten bent fins using a knife or a commercially available fin-straightening tool.
3. Cleaning Around
Once the cleaning is finished, replace the fan cage and insert some branches and vegetation at least 2 feet in all directions to ensure proper airflow. However, be careful not to cover the unit too much as this can cause pests to come inside.
4. Cleaning the Coil and Drain
Once the unit is taken care of, you need to clean the evaporator coil using a soft brush and spray the coil with no-rinse coil cleaner. You may then clean it with some soap, hot water, and bleach. You may also clean the drain which is usually a one-inch PVC pipe. It’s best to remove the paper filter before using water to clean it.
5. Changing the Blower Filter and Turning it On
The filter in your HVAC system should be changed every two years. You always need to replace the filter with a new one that has the same airflow rating and is adapted to your air conditioner. Finally, you may turn your air conditioner back on.
These steps are simple and can be done regularly for an effective performance of the air conditioner. But more serious issues may require the help and expertise of a professional. For instance, a slow refrigerant leak or clean ducts and airflow need to be checked by an expert to evaluate its performance and solve the issues.