Maintenance Tips For Your Air Conditioning Unit
Your air conditioner helps to keep you and your family nice and cool on hot summer days/nights. With just a touch of the thermostat, you have that cool air blowing through your vents, and in no time at all your home is cooled to a nice 72 degree temperature. If you don't take care of your air conditioner properly, though, the next time you turn on your air conditioner, you could run into a problem such as the unit not turning on at all, not cooling your home properly, or cycling constantly. See below for some maintenance tips to help prevent these issues from happening to you.
Clean Your Unit
Your air conditioning unit that sits outside can get covered in dust, dirt, grass clippings, and a lot of other debris. All of that debris can be slowing your unit down and making it more difficult to control the flow of air. To clean your unit properly:
- First, you need to turn off the power to the unit. Do so by either unplugging the unit, turning the unit off by a switch, or turning it off at the fuse box. Check your manufacturer's manual for instructions for your particular unit.
- Next, using a nut driver, take off the exterior covering (if your unit has one). That exterior portion can be gently hosed down and wiped down with a gentle soap to get rid of dirt buildup.
- The fins on the unit can be sprayed gently with a hose as well, but be very careful, as these fins can bend very easily. (When spraying, be cautious not to get the motor inside wet.)
- Next, lift open the top of the unit where the fan is located. This may not come all the way off, so be careful when setting it aside, as there are wires attached to the fan. Clean up any debris inside of the unit such as leaves or grass clippings. You can pick up the debris using your hands or use a shop vacuum.
- Replace the lid on top, then the outer covering when finished cleaning the unit.
Obstructions around your air conditioner can also hinder your unit's ability to control air flow. Things such as plants, shrubs, tall grass, or even unit covers (to help hide your unit) should all be cut back to allow air to flow freely. If you have a unit cover too close to your unit, it should be moved back a few inches. Allow at least 2 feet of room between your unit and any type of obstruction.
- When mowing, be sure to blow clippings away from your air conditioning unit.
- Cover your air conditioning unit with a strong tarp in the fall/winter months to prevent any debris from getting into your unit.
- Have your air conditioner inspected annually by a heating and air professional to ensure your unit is in proper shape in early spring.
Maintaining your air conditioner will help ensure it will work properly year after year. Contact a processional air conditioning repair company if and when you run into a problem, or for more maintenance tips.