How to Properly Clean Your Air Conditioning Unit

air conditioning unitNow that summer is in full swing, it’s important to take good care of your air conditioning unit to make sure it does not break when you need it most! Chances are you’re one of the two-thirds of homeowners in the U.S. that uses an air conditioner, so here are some quick tips and tricks on how to clean your unit to maintain a perfect chill all summer long!

The outside unit
The outside unit should be routinely cleaned as it comes into contact with the elements. Here are some steps you can take to clean your unit.

1. Turn off the power. Even though this can seem simple, it is an important step that should not be missed!

2. Use a vacuum around the outside of the condenser to remove debris like leaves, dirt, and grass.

3. Straighten the metal fins with a butter knife, but make sure to be gentle. Don’t insert the knife more than a half an inch. This is an important piece of maintenance. Straight fins will ensure a continuous, reliable air flow.

4. Unscrew the fan at the stop, and remove any and all debris that may have accumulated within the unit.

5. Position a hose inside the air conditioning system and spray water to clean out the fins. This is also a great way to ensure the fins are properly aligned.

6. Once dry, put the fan back in and re-attach the top.

7. Make sure to clean the area around the unit. The air conditioning unit should have two feet of clear space all around its sides, so remove items and clean up if necessary.

The inside unit
HVAC systems have two units, which are both equally important. If one does not work correctly, it compromises the effectiveness of the other. So it is always a good idea to clean them both at the same time to ensure proper heating and cooling! Follow these steps.

1. Check your air ducts! A quarter of a home’s heat is lost through small cracks and holes. In order to prevent this loss, your air ducts should be thoroughly cleaned and inspected at least every three years.

2. Check and change your furnace filter. To prevent dirt and debris from entering your home, make sure to change the filter every 60 days.

3. Vacuum the dust and debris off the system.

4. Clean the drain tube with a solution of bleach and water.

5. Clean the drain port with a wet cloth.

Your air conditioning unit is a lifesaver on hot, sticky days. You do not want to risk an AC repair, so follow these tips to stay cool all summer long!

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