With summer winding down in Manassas, now is a good time to get a head start on air conditioner maintenance.
If you haven’t cleaned it this year, it could be blocked with dust and yard waste. This accumulation can decrease your unit’s efficiency and cause it to stop working. Or make it wear out sooner.
We suggest having your air conditioning system professionally serviced once a year. Why? Clean equipment can be more energy efficient, which could save you money on electric bills.
Routine AC maintenance also helps our technicians spot and address small issues before they turn into high-priced problems.
Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner from Failing
Some of the work we complete involves:
- Inspecting the blower, motor, drain line and coils
- Checking pressure and temperature
- Examining lines, refrigerant levels and connections
You can still have service done this fall—and we can get your furnace prepped for heating season too.
There’s also some work you can do alone between professional tune-ups. It only takes about an hour to wash your outdoor condenser unit, as well as a couple of parts on your indoor HVAC system.
Related: How Often Should You Expect to Get Air Conditioning Service Done?
How to Clean Your Outside AC Unit
Choose a warm day to wash your air conditioner. At least 60 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) is ideal. That way, you can run your system once you’ve cleaned it.
You’ll only need a few 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
Take out debris from the system. This includes branches, bushes, weeds and grass.
Then use the vacuum to cautiously clean the metallic fins. These components are also known as condenser coils and transfer heat away from your unit.
You need to be cautious with these delicate coils. Misshapen or crumpled fins can impact efficiency.
3. Fix Bent Fins
Use a butter knife to rearrange warped fins. You can also get a fin comb from an appliance part website. A pro from Air-Right Energy Design should fix severe damage.
4. Clean the Inside
After taking out the fan, dig out leaves and other yard rubbish. Then mop the inside of the unit with a wet cloth.
The only coil cleaner you need is water. Use slight pressure from a hose nozzle to clean the fins, showering water from the inside out. Put the fan back in once you’re completed.
5. Test Your Air Conditioner
Now it’s time to restore power and turn your air conditioner back on. If it’s not working properly, give us a call at 703-260-1148.
Related: Air Conditioner Service: Pay a Little Now, Save Later
Three Steps to Clean the Indoor Unit
1. Turn Off the Power
Turn off the power to your furnace at the breaker box.
2. Check Your Filter
Furnace filters must be replaced every couple of months, depending on the type you use.
Not sure when you last put in a new one? Pull it out and hold it up to the light. If light isn’t visible, 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 pliable plastic tube. If it’s scummy, you can clean it by flowing watered-down bleach through the tube to sanitize the line. Or you can replace the tube.
Wash the drain port using a small, round paintbrush. Connect the drain tube and turn 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 Air-Right Energy Design can make your unit more efficient and help it last longer. We also have practical service agreements, so you won’t forget to plan your annual tune-up!