With summer ending in Erie, 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 dust and yard waste. This buildup can reduce your unit’s efficiency and cause it to stop working. Or make it wear out more quickly.
We recommend having your air conditioning system professionally maintained annually. Why? A clean unit can be more energy efficient, which could save you money on utility expenses.
Consistent AC maintenance also helps our technicians locate and take care of minor issues before they turn into costly problems.
Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner from Failing
Some of the work we perform consists of:
- Viewing the blower, motor, drain line and coils
- Watching pressure and temperature
- Examining lines, refrigerant totals and connections
There’s still time to have maintenance done this fall—and we can get your furnace ready for heating season too.
There’s also some maintenance you can do on your own between professional tune-ups. You only need about an hour to wash your outdoor condenser unit, as well as a few components on your indoor HVAC system.
Related: How Often Should You Expect to Get Air Conditioning Service Done?
How to Clean Your Outside AC Unit
Select a temperate day to scrub your air conditioner. At least 60 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) is best. That way, you can run your equipment once you’ve cleaned it.
You’ll only need a few tools:
- 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
Switch off the power to your air conditioner at the breaker box.
2. Clean the Outside
Remove rubbish from the equipment. This includes branches, bushes, weeds and grass.
Then use the vacuum to slowly clean the metallic fins. These components are also known as condenser coils and move heat away from your system.
You need to be careful with these fragile coils. Bent or crushed fins can influence efficiency.
3. Fix Bent Fins
Use a butter knife to rearrange warped fins. You can also get a fin comb from an appliance part retailer. A pro from Patterson & Stirling should fix large amounts of 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 rag.
The only coil cleaner you should use is water. Use slight pressure from a hose nozzle to clean the fins, showering water from the inside out. Replace the fan once you’re done.
5. Test Your Air Conditioner
You can now restore power and turn your air conditioner back on. If it’s not working correctly, contact us a call at 814-308-0416.
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 need to be changed every couple of months, depending on the type you use.
Unsure when you last checked yours? Take it out and hold it up to 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 examine your air conditioner’s drain line—it’s a flexible plastic tube. If it’s dirty, you can clean it by draining diluted bleach through the tube to sanitize the line. Or you can replace the tube.
Wash the drain port using a small, round paintbrush. Reconnect the drain tube and restore power.
Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner Running Well Through Fall
Never Forget a Tune-Up Again
Annual air conditioner maintenance from Patterson & Stirling can make your equipment more efficient and help it last longer. We also provide convenient service agreements, so you won’t forget to schedule your annual service!