With summer ending in Tucson, now is a good time to get a kick start on air conditioner maintenance.
If you haven’t cleaned it lately, it could be blocked with dirt and yard waste. This buildup can reduce your unit’s efficiency and cause it to malfunction. Or require replacement sooner.
We advise having your air conditioning system professionally maintained every year. Why? A clean system can be more energy efficient, which could save you money on utility costs.
Regular AC maintenance also helps our technicians discover and handle slight issues before they become costly problems.
Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner from Failing
Some of the work we complete consists of:
- Inspecting the blower, motor, drain line and coils
- Checking 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 maintenance you can do by yourself between professional tune-ups. You only need about an hour to clean your outdoor condenser unit, as well as a few parts on your indoor HVAC system.
Related: How Often Should You Expect to Get Air Conditioning Service Done?
How to Clean Your Outside AC Unit
Pick a temperate day to clean your air conditioner. At least 60 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) is best. That way, you can test the unit once you’ve cleaned it.
You’ll only need a handful of 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
Switch off the juice to your air conditioner at the breaker box.
2. Clean the Outside
Empty waste from the equipment. This includes branches, bushes, weeds and grass.
Then use the vacuum to slowly clean the metallic fins. These parts are also known as condenser coils and divert heat away from your equipment.
You need to be careful with these fragile coils. Warped or crinkled fins can influence efficiency.
3. Fix Bent Fins
Use a butter knife to straighten misshapen fins. You can also use a fin comb from an appliance part retailer. A pro from Ambient Air should handle large amounts of damage.
4. Clean the Inside
After removing the fan, pull out leaves and other yard rubbish. Then wipe the inside of the system with a wet rag.
The only coil cleaner you should use is water. Use gentle pressure from a hose nozzle to wash the fins, showering water from the inside out. Put the fan back in once you’re finished.
5. Test Your Air Conditioner
You can now restore power and turn your air conditioner back on. If it’s not working correctly, contact us a call at 520-357-4912.
Related: Air Conditioner Service: Pay a Little Now, Save Later
Three Steps to 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 need to be exchanged every several months, depending on the model you use.
Not sure when you last put in a new one? 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 inspect your air conditioner’s drain line—it’s a supple plastic tube. If it’s moldy, you can freshen it by pouring watered-down bleach through the tube to clean the line. Or you can replace the tube.
Scrub the drain port using a small, round paintbrush. Reconnect the drain tube and switch 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 Ambient Air can make your equipment more efficient and help it last longer. We also offer convenient service agreements, so you won’t forget to plan your annual tune-up!