With summer winding down in Woodbridge, now is an ideal time to get ahead on air conditioner maintenance.
If you haven’t cleaned it lately, it could be full of dust and debris from your yard. This buildup can limit your unit’s efficiency and cause it to break down. Or wear it down more quickly.
We recommend having your air conditioning system professionally tuned-up once a year. Why? A clean unit can be more energy efficient, which could save you money on utility expenses.
Routine AC maintenance also helps our technicians spot and take care of slight issues before they turn into high-priced problems.
Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner from Failing
Some of the work we complete involves:
- Inspecting the blower, motor, drain line and coils
- Confirming pressure and temperature
- Examining 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 upkeep you can do on your own between professional tune-ups. You only need about an hour to clean your outdoor condenser unit, as well as several 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 temperate day to wash your air conditioner. At least 60 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) is great. That way, you can test your equipment once you’ve cleaned it.
You’ll only need a handful of things:
- 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 juice to your air conditioner at the breaker box.
2. Clean the Outside
Take out rubbish from the unit. This includes branches, bushes, weeds and grass.
Then turn on the vacuum to gently clean the metallic fins. These components are also called condenser coils and move heat away from your equipment.
You need to be considerate of these fragile coils. Warped or crinkled fins can influence efficiency.
3. Fix Bent Fins
Use a butter knife to adjust warped fins. You can also get a fin comb from an appliance part website. A pro from Fire & Ice HVAC should handle large amounts of damage.
4. Clean the Inside
After removing the fan, fish out leaves and other yard litter. Then wipe the inside of the system with a wet cloth.
The only coil cleaner you have to have is water. Use gentle pressure from a hose nozzle to rinse the fins, showering water from the inside out. Reinstall the fan once you’re finished.
5. Test Your Air Conditioner
Now it’s time to restore power and turn your air conditioner back on. If it’s not working properly, give us a call at 703-595-4157.
Related: Air Conditioner Service: Pay a Little Now, Save Later
Three Steps to Clean the Indoor Unit
1. Turn Off the Power
Cut the power to your furnace at the breaker box.
2. Check Your Filter
Furnace filters must be exchanged every couple of months, depending on the type you use.
Unsure when you last checked yours? Pull it out and hold it up to the light. If there’s no light visible, buy 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 flexible plastic tube. If it’s moldy, you can sanitize it by draining watered-down bleach through the tube to sanitize the line. Or you can replace the tube.
Clean the drain port using a small, round paintbrush. Hook up 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 Fire & Ice HVAC can make your unit more efficient and help it last longer. We also offer practical service agreements, so you won’t forget to schedule your annual service!