With summer coming to an end in Frederick, now is a great time to get ahead on air conditioner maintenance.
If you haven’t cleaned it this year, it could be full of dirt and yard waste. This buildup can reduce your unit’s efficiency and cause it to malfunction. Or make it wear out sooner.
We suggest having your air conditioning system professionally serviced once a year. Why? A clean system can be more energy efficient, which could save you money on energy expenses.
Consistent AC maintenance also helps our technicians locate and address minor issues before they become expensive problems.
Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner from Failing
Some of the work we do includes:
- Taking a look at the blower, motor, drain line and coils
- Watching pressure and temperature
- Reviewing lines, refrigerant totals and connections
You can still have service done this fall—and we can get your furnace prepared for heating season too.
There’s also some maintenance you can do alone between professional tune-ups. You only need about an hour to get the grime off your outdoor condenser unit, as well as a few pieces on your indoor HVAC system.
Related: How Often Should You Expect to Get Air Conditioning Service Done?
How to Clean Your Outside AC Unit
Pick a mild day to wash your air conditioner. At least 60 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) is ideal. That way, you can test your equipment once you’ve cleaned it.
You’ll only need a couple of items:
- Wet-dry vacuum and hose with a soft brush attachment
- Butter knife
- Damp rag
- Small, round paintbrush
- Replacement furnace filter (if necessary)
Related: How AC Repair and Maintenance Can Actually Save You Money
Five Steps to Clean the Outside Unit
1. Turn Off the Power
Stop the electricity to your air conditioner at the breaker box.
2. Clean the Outside
Empty waste from the system. This includes branches, bushes, weeds and grass.
Then use the vacuum to gently clean the metallic fins. These components are also known as condenser coils and move heat away from your unit.
You need to be careful with these fine coils. Misshapen or crushed fins can impact efficiency.
3. Fix Bent Fins
Use a butter knife to straighten bent fins. You can also get a fin comb from an appliance part retailer. A pro from May's Heating & Air should take care of large amounts of damage.
4. Clean the Inside
After extracting the fan, dig out leaves and other yard rubbish. Then clean the inside of the unit with a wet cloth.
The only coil cleaner you should use is water. Use slight pressure from a hose nozzle to wash the fins, showering water from the inside out. Put the fan back in once you’re finished.
5. Test Your Air Conditioner
You can now restore power and turn your air conditioner back on. If it’s not running like it should, reach out to us a call at 301-690-0397.
Related: Air Conditioner Service: Pay a Little Now, Save Later
Three Steps to Clean the Indoor Unit
1. Turn Off the Power
Stop the power to your furnace at the breaker box.
2. Check Your Filter
Furnace filters need to be exchanged every several months, depending on the model you use.
Can’t remember when you last put in a new one? Pull it out and tilt it toward the light. If you can’t see light through it, replace it.
3. Clean the Inside
Remove the blower door and vacuum up dust.
Then take a look at your air conditioner’s drain line—it’s a flexible plastic tube. If it’s scummy, you can sanitize it by pouring diluted bleach through the tube to clean the line. Or you can buy a new tube.
Scrub the drain port using a small, round paintbrush. Reconnect the drain tube and switch the power back on.
Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner Running Well Through Fall
Never Forget a Tune-Up Again
Annual air conditioner maintenance from May's Heating & Air can make your unit more efficient and help it last longer. We also provide practical service agreements, so you won’t forget to book your annual maintenance!