With summer ending in Mankato area, now is a good time to get ahead on air conditioner maintenance.
If you haven’t washed it this year, it could be blocked with dust and yard refuse. This accumulation can reduce your unit’s efficiency and cause it to malfunction. Or wear it down faster.
We recommend having your air conditioning system professionally tuned-up annually. Why? A clean unit can be more energy efficient, which could save you money on electric expenses.
Routine AC maintenance also helps our technicians discover and address minor issues before they become high-priced problems.
Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner from Failing
Some of the work we do includes:
- Inspecting the blower, motor, drain line and coils
- Confirming pressure and temperature
- Testing lines, refrigerant levels and connections
There’s still time to have service done this fall—and we can get your furnace ready for heating season too.
There’s also some work you can do by yourself between professional tune-ups. You only need about an hour to wash your outdoor condenser unit, as well as a couple of pieces on your indoor HVAC system.
Related: How Often Should You Expect to Get Air Conditioning Service Done?
How to Clean Your Outside AC Unit
Select a temperate day to scrub your air conditioner. At least 60 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) is best. That way, you can test your system once you’ve cleaned it.
You’ll only need a handful of tools:
- 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 waste from the unit. This includes branches, bushes, weeds and grass.
Then run the vacuum to cautiously clean the metallic fins. These pieces are also referred to as condenser coils and move heat away from your equipment.
You need to be careful with these fragile coils. Warped or crushed fins can affect efficiency.
3. Fix Bent Fins
Use a butter knife to rearrange misshapen fins. You can also buy a fin comb from an appliance part retailer. A pro from Northern Comfort Inc should fix extensive damage.
4. Clean the Inside
After taking out the fan, pull out leaves and other yard waste. Then wipe the inside of the unit with a wet sponge.
The only coil cleaner you have to have is water. Use gentle pressure from a hose nozzle to rinse the fins, spraying water from the inside out. Reinstall the fan once you’re completed.
5. Test Your Air Conditioner
It’s safe to restore power and turn your air conditioner back on. If it’s not running correctly, contact us a call at 507-387-6596.
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 electricity to your furnace at the breaker box.
2. Check Your Filter
Furnace filters should be exchanged every few months, depending on the model you use.
Unsure when you last checked yours? Take it out and angle it toward the light. If there’s no light visible, replace it.
3. Clean the Inside
Remove the blower door and vacuum up dust.
Then examine your air conditioner’s drain line—it’s a supple plastic tube. If it’s moldy, you can clean it by pouring diluted bleach through the tube to flush the line. Or you can get a new 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 Northern Comfort Inc can make your equipment more efficient and help it last longer. We also offer handy service agreements, so you won’t forget to schedule your annual maintenance!