Spring is the time when you should start preparing your home for summer, and one of the things you should do is clean your central air conditioning (AC) system. By cleaning it and performing routine maintenance, your AC will be ready to use when the days start getting hotter. You can clean your AC system yourself by performing the following three steps.
Change the Filter
Central AC systems always have filters, and these should be changed regularly. The filter is there to sift the air that comes into the system. When the air is sifted, the filter pulls impurities out of the air. This is good for your AC system and your home because it:
- Keeps a lot of the dirt and debris out of the system
- Delivers cleaner air into your home
- Reduces the allergens in your home
The filter on your system should be easy to find, and it will most likely be a disposable filter. If you have a reusable filter, you must remove it and vacuum it first. After that, you can wash it with a mild soap or with vinegar, and you must let it dry completely before placing it back in the system.
Changing or cleaning your filter is something you should do at least twice a year, but you may need to do this more frequently. You can tell if the filter needs to be cleaned or replaced simply by looking at it. If it appears dirty, clean it or replace it.
Clean the Outdoor Condenser
One of the key components of an AC system is the outdoor condenser. The job of the condenser is to force the heat out of the coolant. The coolant circulates from the indoor AC unit to the outdoor condenser, and this process repeats over and over when the AC is running.
Because the condenser is located outside, it tends to get dirty from leaves and debris. Before you clean it, you should shut the device off by turning the central AC system off. After it is shut off, you can clean it by:
- Spraying it with a water hose
- Using a shop vacuum to pull the debris out
- Trimming all weeds or bushes located near the device
- Unscrewing the panel to get inside the device to clean it out with a vacuum or brush
Once you have finished cleaning this component, you can move on to the inside of your home to perform the final step of air conditioning cleaning.
Clean the Inside Unit
The rest of your job will involve cleaning the actual AC unit located in your basement or utility room. This unit contains several key parts, which include the motor blower fan and the evaporator coils. Both of these components get dirty over time, and both must be cleaned in order to keep your system running efficiently.
To clean them, you will need to remove the access door on your unit. This usually requires unscrewing several screws from the door. Once you do this, you will have access to the parts. You can clean them by:
- Using a vacuum to pull all the dust and debris out of the system
- Wiping all the parts with a damp cloth
You can also clean the coils by purchasing foam cleaner. This is a product you can spray directly on the coils. There is no need to wipe anything if you use a cleaner like this because it will evaporate.
Keeping your AC system clean is an important type of maintenance to complete during the spring. If you cannot perform these steps yourself, you can hire a company that offers air conditioning repair services, and they will handle the job for you. Check out sites like http://www.capefearair.com for more information and to find a contractor for professional help.