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When you have been out all day working in the yard or doing chores around the house and then you come inside and take a long shower, it feels so great, right?
You got so much accomplished, and as your reward you get to wash the dirt off, relax under the warm water, put on fresh, clean clothes, and enjoy knowing you’ve checked those tasks off your list.
Meanwhile, at a location nearby, your air conditioner is waiting for its turn to do the same. After a long winter with some components being continuously exposed to the elements, your AC unit is dusty, dirty, perhaps a bit banged up, and partially clogged in places that shouldn’t be.
These spring cleaning tips will help your air conditioner do its very best work in the warm season that will soon be upon us.
P.S. You will be able to tell how good your A/C unit feels by the lower energy bills and reduced maintenance costs you have to pay this spring!
Cleaning the Outdoor A/C Unit
Unless you’ve thoroughly covered your outdoor A/C unit, called the condenser, at least two season’s worth of debris and dirt are now clogging the unit.
Cleaning it will increase the condenser’s efficiency even in the hottest days and will help prevent breakdown when you need your A/C most.
NOTE: Only do these steps if you feel comfortable turning off the power and removing the top of the condenser. Otherwise, give us a call: we can help!
Turn off the power to your condenser unit at the outdoor shutoff. You either move a switch to the Off position or pull out a block, depending on your setup.
Now unscrew the bolts around the top of the unit. Lift the whole top off the condenser, along with the fan and motor. Do not remove these or the wires you’ll see attached from the motor to the service panel. Also, try not to damage any of the fins (the fine metallic blades around the condensing unit). These are easy to bend and crucial to the unit’s function. If you do smash a few or a few were already smashed, you can buy combs for opening them back up. Or contact us for help.
With the lid off, you can start removing debris (tree seeds, leaves, etc.) inside and outside the unit (you can use your hands for this part, whatever you can reach and pick up).
Cover the service panel area on the unit with a towel to keep as much water as possible from getting in the panel.
With your hose, spray all inside the unit toward the outside (you don’t want dirt to go further into the unit). Make sure the pressure isn’t so hard that you bend the fins around the unit.
Once you're done spraying out all the dirt, you should be able to look through the fins and see daylight.
Remount the lid to the air conditioner's condensing unit as it was and bolt it down.
HVAC drainage hose
If your air conditioner is the type where the drainage hole is located on the underside in an accessible place, it is a good idea to remove the hose every few months to be sure the drainage hole is clear and free from debris.
If you can’t access the drainage hole on your own or you don’t feel comfortable doing so, this is something our technicians routinely do during our HVAC spring cleaning inspection and maintenance service calls, so just give us a call.
Preparing Your House for Fresh, Clean, Cool Air
These spring cleaning tips will help you sleuth out air leaks that can increase your energy costs and decrease your indoor comfort while running your A/C.
Now that you’ve cleaned your unit and made sure it works, you want to make sure the output isn’t wasted!
Do a walk-about and take a look at each window. Does the window open and close easily? Do you see signs that the caulking is wearing out or the weather stripping is cracked or missing? Do you feel a draft?
Making any minor repairs as needed will minimize air leaks that can send your spring A/C bills skyrocketing.
Unless your manufacturer’s operating manual specifically states otherwise, current industry best practices recommend changing your air conditioning filter at least once per month. The big payoff from changing your filters regularly is greater operational efficiency and reduced utility costs.
Changing filters regularly (or cleaning and replacing reusable filters) also ensures you have the cleanest, purest indoor air to breathe. This can be especially useful to control the severity of spring allergies.
Schedule your spring HVAC inspection and maintenance service
There is no time like the present to schedule your air conditioner’s spring inspection and maintenance appointment—the last thing you want is to be in the throes of a hot, humid summer without A/C.
If you’re not comfortable cleaning the outside condenser, we can do this for you. Or, we can come to make sure everything looks okay and top off your coolant for you, as needed. This bit is not a step you should endeavor yourself.
Alternatively, our technicians can do a thorough HVAC inspection and cleaning and talk with you about any minor repairs or replacement recommendations to keep your unit running smoothly and efficiently.
To schedule your appointment, give us a call!