Your home cooling system plays a pivotal role in making a home a center for relaxation. As time goes by you may note that your conditioning unit is working a lot harder to achieve the same amount of cooling as it did before. Similarly, if you have a heating, ventilating and air conditioning system, you may find that the heat it releases becomes less and less as time passes by.
For this reason, cleaning your air conditioner is an important element to maintaining it. This can prolong the life span of your system. In this article, we will address tips you can use to keep your cooling system clean. But before we get to cleaning here are a few things to keep in mind before you start.
- This process will eat up large amounts of your time. Set aside about 8 hours in your day to do it.
- Some parts of the cleaning will need accurate movements and dexterity.
- You may need tools that are highly specialized to complete the cleaning.
Even though its possible to do this maintenance job yourself, you will find that patience and fine motor skills are necessary for the task to be completed accurately, so at times it’s best to contact a professional to do your whole-house cooling fan deep clean.
Additionally, let’s understand a little about how each system works before you endeavor to clean your air conditioning unit. Air conditioning units have both indoor and outdoor elements and each demands a different type of coil you need to clean with.
You will find that evaporator coils are located in the interior part of the unit. Normally, these coils are made from copper, which absorbs heat easily and there is a coolant inside. When warm air passes over the coils, they can take in heat. Then the refrigerant evaporates it into a gas form.
Thereafter, the refrigerant moves the hot air to the unit outside, it goes through a compressor all the way to the condenser coil. This is the time, the compressor turns the refrigerant back into a fluid state. The condenser coil then liberates the heat into the air that remains by making use of the exhaust fan. In essence, to clean the air conditioning unit, you need to work on the outdoor and indoor aspects of the unit.
How to Clean Your Unit from the Inside
Turn the Power off
Air conditioners come with a number of moveable components and because safety comes first, you must switch the power off at your breaker box. Be mindful, as this will mean you won’t be able to turn the light on, so you should do this during the day.
Open the Air Conditioning Unit
Your blower part will have an entry point granting access to the evaporator coil, you’ll need to extract the foil duct tape and a few other screws keeping the door intact depending on your unit.
Cleaning Your Unit from the Outside
The process of cleaning the unit outside demands more hard labor compared to cleaning the interior parts. This part of the system gets dirty really quickly due to being constantly exposed to outside elements.
Further to that specialized equipment is needed to get it clean. The steps below can help do a good job at this.
Remove the AC Grille and Disconnect It
To do this make sure the power is off, you can switch off your electricity on the connection box outside just before you start. Then begin with taking out the sheet metal screws located on the unit top.
Once removed, you can lift the grille and fan unit. Most units are designed in such a way that they have more than enough slack in the wires to set up the top down lean it against the wall without having to detach any wires.
Take off the Debris on Your Air Conditioner
Depending on how your unit is made, you will find that there is a lot of debris at the bottom of the air conditioner. You may find leaves, seeds, or small twigs because most entry-level models don’t have guards in place to stop the accumulation of various forms of debris.
Refresh the AC Coils and Fins
The guide to cleaning the AC condenser coils is simple. You need to have a coil cleaning substance, which you can buy at any home improvement store. But beware these types of cleaners are harsh and can cause burns if safety precautions are not taken. Don’t use this cleaner to clean indoor coils as the fumes that come from there can be extremely dangerous.
Another thing you can do is dilute or mix your cleaning solution as written on the guide. Add it to your pump sprayer and you are done, it will bubble up in a matter of minutes then you can wash it off after application using your garden hose.
For this task avoid using a pressure washer because the fins are made from delicate material and the pressure from the washer can damage them easily.
Although cleaning your AC unit yourself is not always practical, it can’t be disputed that a clean air conditioner is an efficient air conditioner, so if the thought of handling chemical cleaning solutions or spending hours carefully reading your AC cleaning instructions sounds annoying, do yourself a favor and call the professionals to do it.