With summer winding down in Erie, now is a good time to get a head start on air conditioner maintenance.
If you haven’t cleaned it recently, it could be blocked with mud and yard waste. This accumulation can decrease your unit’s efficiency and cause it to malfunction. Or make it wear out sooner.
We advise having your air conditioning system professionally maintained annually. Why? A clean system can be more energy efficient, which could save you money on utility bills.
Regular AC maintenance also helps our technicians discover 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:
- Viewing the blower, motor, drain line and coils
- Confirming pressure and temperature
- Testing 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 upkeep you can do by yourself between professional tune-ups. It only takes about an hour to wash your outdoor condenser unit, as well as a couple of 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 temperate day to wash your air conditioner. At least 60 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) is great. That way, you can test your equipment once you’ve cleaned it.
You’ll only need a couple of things:
- 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
5 Steps to Clean the Outside Unit
1. Turn Off the Power
Switch off the electricity to your air conditioner at the breaker box.
2. Clean the Outside
Remove waste from the unit. This includes branches, bushes, weeds and grass.
Then use the vacuum to slowly clean the metallic fins. These pieces are also referred to as condenser coils and divert heat away from your unit.
You need to be careful with these fragile coils. Misshapen or crinkled fins can affect efficiency.
3. Fix Bent Fins
Use a butter knife to straighten misshapen fins. You can also buy a fin comb from an appliance parts retailer. A pro from Patterson & Stirling Inc should handle extensive damage.
4. Clean the Inside
After removing the fan, fish out leaves and other yard litter. Then clean the inside of the system with a wet sponge.
The only coil cleaner you should use is water. Use light pressure from a hose nozzle to wash the fins, spraying water from the inside out. Reinstall the fan 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 working properly, give us a call at 814-308-0416.
Related: Air Conditioner Service: Pay a Little Now, Save Later
3 Steps to Clean the Indoor Unit
1. Turn Off the Power
Cut the juice to your furnace at the breaker box.
2. Check Your Filter
Furnace filters need to be exchanged every several months, depending on the kind you use.
Unsure when you last put in a new one? Pull it out and hold it up to the light. If there’s no light visible, get a new one.
3. Clean the Inside
Remove the blower door and vacuum up dust.
Then inspect your air conditioner’s drain line—it’s a flexible plastic tube. If it’s moldy, you can freshen it by draining water-down bleach through the tube to sanitize the line. Or you can get a new tube.
Clean 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 Patterson & Stirling Inc can make your system more efficient and help it last longer. We also provide convenient service agreements, so you won’t forget to schedule your regular maintenance!