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How To Safely Clean Your AC Unit

One of the easiest ways to extend the life of your AC unit as well as to ease the task of maintenance is to make sure the AC unit is clean. A clean air conditioning unit will also allow your home to be cooled more efficiently, which ultimately helps to reduce the amount of energy consumption. Most outdoor AC units are easy to access so you can safely do the routine cleaning yourself. For the ultimate efficiency, it is typically recommended that you clean your outside AC unit at least two times a year; usually at the beginning of spring and just before fall. Follow these simple step-by-step instructions to safely clean your outside air conditioning unit:

Tools You Will Need

Although you will only need a few items, most of which you probably already have, it is easier to have everything ready. You will only need a replacement air filter, a garden hose, a screwdriver, a wet/dry vacuum and a few cloths.

Step-by-Step Instructions

  • The first step is to locate and change the air conditioner filter, which is typically found near or on the AC return air duct. If your filter is reusable, simply remove the dust, dirt and debris with the garden hose and allow it to air dry before replacing it. Next, you will need to turn off the power that goes to the AC unit, which is typically done by flipping the breaker switch.
  • After the power is turned off, use a screwdriver to remove the access panel on the outside AC unit (usually on the top or side). Set the panel aside to avoid damaging the attached fan or fan wires. Next, inspect the condenser coils for any damage and use the wet/dry vacuum to carefully remove the dirt and dust from the coils (be careful to not bend the fins and coils).
  • Use your hands to remove any debris, such as leaves, from the fan vents, wipe the blades and panel with a soft cloth and use a garden hose to rinse the coils. When rinsing the coils, spray the water from the inside out, using a light pressure. Screw the panel back in place and turn the power back on to the AC unit.

To avoid cuts and scratches from the sharp fins, make sure to wear a pair of gloves when cleaning the condenser coils. The air filter should be replaced at least once every 2-3 months to reduce the amount of dust that reaches the condenser coils

If you need an emergency AC or heating maintenance– don’t sweat it. Contact AAC Services today for AC unit repairs, maintenance and installations. From air conditioner installations to hot water heater repairs, we can help.

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