With summer winding down in Cedar Rapids, now is a good time to get a head start on air conditioner maintenance.
If you haven’t taken care of it lately, it could be full of dust and debris from your yard. This accumulation can reduce your unit’s efficiency and cause it to stop working. Or make it wear out sooner.
We suggest having your air conditioning system professionally tuned-up once a year. Why? Clean equipment 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 small issues before they develop into costly problems.
Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner from Failing
Some of the work we do involves:
- Viewing the blower, motor, drain line and coils
- Watching pressure and temperature
- Reviewing lines, refrigerant amounts 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 work you can do on your own between professional tune-ups. You just need about an hour to get the grime off 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
Choose a warm day to wash your air conditioner. At least 60 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) is ideal. That way, you can test your equipment once you’ve cleaned it.
You’ll only need a few items:
- 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
Cut the juice to your air conditioner at the breaker box.
2. Clean the Outside
Empty debris from the system. This includes branches, bushes, weeds and grass.
Then turn on the vacuum to slowly clean the metallic fins. These parts are also called condenser coils and divert heat away from your unit.
You need to be considerate of these delicate coils. Bent or crinkled fins can impact efficiency.
3. Fix Bent Fins
Use a butter knife to rearrange misshapen fins. You can also get a fin comb from an appliance part retailer. A pro from Ilten's should handle extensive damage.
4. Clean the Inside
After taking out the fan, pull out leaves and other yard rubbish. Then wipe the inside of the system with a wet cloth.
The only coil cleaner you should use is water. Use slight pressure from a hose nozzle to rinse the fins, showering water from the inside out. Replace the fan once you’re finished.
5. Test Your Air Conditioner
It’s safe to restore power and turn your air conditioner back on. If it’s not operating like it should, give us a call at 319-208-2351.
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 juice to your furnace at the breaker box.
2. Check Your Filter
Furnace filters should be changed every couple of months, depending on the type you use.
Can’t remember when you last checked yours? Remove it and tilt it toward the light. If light isn’t 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 pliable plastic tube. If it’s moldy, you can clean it by flowing watered-down bleach through the tube to clean the line. Or you can get a new tube.
Scrub the drain port using a small, round paintbrush. Connect the drain tube and turn 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 Ilten's can make your system more efficient and help it last longer. We also offer convenient service agreements, so you won’t forget to schedule your routine maintenance!