During the summer, air conditioning is essential. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve needed to cool down during a hot summer night and was miserable because I didn’t have A/C.
If you do purchase an A/C unit, you need to be sure to clean it out every so often so nothing clogs it up and prevents it from working. If you wanna do this yourself, all you need to do is follow these 10 easy steps…
Turn Off The Power
Working with the AC unit on is extremely dangerous. Be sure to turn the unit off before you attempt to clean it out.
Remove Buildup + Debris
Use a screwdriver or wrench to remove the screws or other hardware attaching the fan cage or grill to the unit. Remove dust, and other debris from the interior of the condenser/compressor.
You can do this with either your hands or a wet/dry vacuum.
Clean The Condenser Coils
Straighten The Fins
Carefully straighten fins that are bent out of shape. If you don’t have a commercially available fin-straightening tool, just use a butter knife or similar thin tool.
You don’t want to damage the tubing embedded in the fins, so finesse the tool carefully. Bent fins restrict air flow, so this is an important step.
Clean Area Around Condenser Unit
Replace the fan’s grill and clean the area surrounding the unit to prevent future debris build up. Try to create about 2 feet of clear space in all directions surrounding the unit.
During the cold months when you don’t use the unit, try covering the top of the unit to prevent leaves, branches, and other debris from falling in. Just be careful not to completely cover the sides.
Level The Unit
As the soil settles underneath the condenser unit, the pad under the unit sometimes tips. When the condenser unit is not level, the compressor is more likely to fail prematurely. Get a level to check the condenser unit’s positioning, then use weather proof, rot-resistant shims to correct for incline.
The one exception you should be aware of is for heat pump systems. Pads underneath heat pump systems might have a strategic tilt to allow for defrost run-off to flow away from the home’s foundation during the winter.
Clean Evaporator Coil
Unplug The Drain
Only follow this step if the bleach solution does not drain easily, indicating that your evaporator drain is clogged. Often, mold and algae build up, which blocks the drain.
Locate the drain line. It should be at the point where it leaves the evaporator coil enclosure. The drain is generally a 1-inch PVC pipe.
Follow the pipe to the end where it drains, and use a wet/dry vacuum to clear it.
Change The Filter
Changing the HVAC filter at least twice a year is essential, and even more if you live in a place that’s super dusty. Make sure it has the same airflow rating as the old filter.
Turn The Power Back On
Now your AC unit is all ready to use! Make sure it’s all put back together then turn on the power and you’ve got cool air ready whenever you need it.
Happy summer and be sure to stay cool!