With summer coming to an end in Mankato area, now is an ideal time to get a head start on air conditioner maintenance.
If you haven’t taken care of it lately, it could be blocked with dust and debris from your yard. This buildup can limit your unit’s efficiency and cause it to stop working. Or make it wear out more quickly.
We advise having your air conditioning system professionally tuned-up every year. Why? Clean equipment can be more energy efficient, which could save you money on energy costs.
Regular AC maintenance also helps our technicians discover and take care of small issues before they turn into expensive problems.
Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner from Failing
Some of the work we complete consists of:
- Taking a look at the blower, motor, drain line and coils
- Watching pressure and temperature
- Testing lines, refrigerant levels 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 alone between professional tune-ups. You only need about an hour to wash your outdoor condenser unit, as well as a few 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 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 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 electricity 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 use the vacuum to cautiously clean the metallic fins. These parts are also referred to as condenser coils and transfer heat away from your unit.
You need to be careful with these fine coils. Bent or crinkled fins can impact efficiency.
3. Fix Bent Fins
Use a butter knife to adjust warped fins. You can also buy a fin comb from an appliance part store. A pro from Northern Comfort Inc should take care of large amounts of damage.
4. Clean the Inside
After extracting the fan, dig out leaves and other yard litter. Then mop the inside of the system with a wet sponge.
The only coil cleaner you should use is water. Use gentle pressure from a hose nozzle to wash the fins, directing water from the inside out. Replace the fan once you’re completed.
5. Test Your Air Conditioner
You can now restore power and turn your air conditioner back on. If it’s not operating like it should, give us a call at 507-387-6596.
Related: Air Conditioner Service: Pay a Little Now, Save Later
Next, How You Can Clean the Indoor Unit
1. Turn Off the Power
Cut the electricity to your furnace at the breaker box.
2. Check Your Filter
Furnace filters should be exchanged every several months, depending on the model you use.
Not sure when you last checked yours? Take it out and tilt 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 inspect your air conditioner’s drain line—it’s a pliable plastic tube. If it’s dirty, you can sanitize it by flowing thinned bleach through the tube to clean the line. Or you can buy a new tube.
Wash 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
Don’t Forget a Tune-Up Again
Annual air conditioner maintenance from Northern Comfort Inc can make your system more efficient and help it last longer. We also provide practical service agreements, so you won’t forget to book your routine tune-up!