Maintaining the air conditioner is imperative if you are going to have it in proper working order throughout the year. Regular maintenance also extends the life span of the unit while keeping your energy bills on the low. It will save you from having to replace the entire unit early. This guide provides the step by step process on how you can carry out essential air conditioner maintenance on your own to keep your unit in tip top shape.
Step 1: Cut the power to the air conditioner unit the air conditioner works on electricity and since it is dangerous to handle electronic equipment while still connected you need to cut off the power to the unit both in the interior and exterior units. In the inside, shut off the power to the air conditioner at the breaker box or mains. On the outside, shut off the power to the condenser at the shut off box located just close to the condenser unit.
Step 2: Remove debris on the exterior condenser unit remove the fan cage on the condenser unit outside to gain access to the unit. Remove all the debris in this condenser unit. You can use a hose pipe to completely clean the unit starting from the top working your way to the bottom. Ensure that all dirt, leaves, twigs and all other debris that might have accumulated over time is removed.
Step 3: Clean and straighten the fins spray through the fins with a garden hose but using a gentle stream of water. Spray the fins from the inside out so that all the dirt accumulated is pushed outside. You can also use a fin cleaning spray available in home improvement stores. Caution should be taken to never use a pressure cleaner as the high pressure will destroy the fins. After cleaning you need to straighten the fins to allow proper airflow. You can use a fin comb but if you do not have this use a butter knife.
Step 4: Clean around the unit and keep it leveled remove all debris around the unit and if there is any foliage trim it to below 2 inches high to allow for proper air flow. Also, ensure that the unit is leveled on the ground as it might tip with time as the soil underneath it settles.
Step 5: Clean the Evaporator coil and evaporator drain dig deep inside the unit to the evaporator coils. Reach to the coil and use a soft brush to dust it up. You can then spray the coil with coil cleaner available from the home improvement stores. The spray will drop into the evaporator drain pan. Clean the pan also. After, you need to clean the drain. It is possible for algae and mold to grow in the drain reducing its effectiveness at draining excess moisture and also it might cause flooding. Ensure that the drain is unclogged and free of any matter inside.
Step 6: Change or clean the filters the filters should be changed at least twice yearly. This is recommended before the high usage seasons, that is winter and summer. However, it all depends on how much you use your system and how dirty your filter gets. If you have reusable filters ensure they are thoroughly cleaned. If you have the replaceable ones ensure you replace with a new filter of the same airflow capacity.
Turn the power back on and ensure that the system is working properly.