Is your air conditioning in need of a spring cleaning? If your air conditioner isn’t cooling as well as it should, it may need a good thorough cleaning. There are several things that can cause an air conditioner to not operate properly. The fins might be clogged with debris or dirt or the coolant could be low. Some problems may be fixed quite easily while other issues might need air-con cleaning expert. You can perform most of the minor repairs, including routine cleaning chores but it takes a professional to check the coolant level.
Air conditioners need annual servicing. Keeping your air conditioner is good working condition will help ensure you aren’t faced with more expensive repairs later on. Most of these routine tasks are simple to do yourself.
Cleaning your air conditioner can be a major task, but it will help prevent damage. Before you start, turn off the power to the air conditioner or HVAC system. Your home probably has a service disconnect switch located near the condenser. You can turn off all power to the air conditioner by disconnecting the system.
If you are cleaning a large HVAC unit with an exterior condenser, it is best to perform this task in weather warmer than 60 degrees F. YOU want to clean the condenser fans first. These fins collect a lot of dirt because the system continuously sucks air in through these fins. When the air comes in, it also brings in dead leaves, dust, dead grass and all types of floating pollen and other airborne particles.
You’ll have to remove the top of the air conditioner to expose the fan, motor, and condenser. You will probably have to remove any debris inside the condenser by hand. Next, place a towel over the service panel to help prevent water from entering this area.
Using a spray hose, spray the condenser from the inside out. If you spray inward, it will push the dust and debris farther into the condenser. When you finish spraying the fans, you should be able to see clearly through the fans.
You can also vacuum the inside of the condenser to remove any debris or dirt that may have gotten into the condenser. Once the inside of the condenser is clean and the fan blades are clear, you can check for lubrication points on the fan motor. If your unit is new, the bearings are probably sealed, but if your unit is older, there may be ports. If there are, you can lubricate them by adding 5 drops of electric motor oil.
Once these tasks are completed, connect the disconnect switch and turn on the condenser. If you condenser doesn’t turn on, check your owner’s manual for proper restart procedures.
Once your air conditioning system is running again, perform this annual maintenance to keep your system running efficiently. If you have cleaned your system and it still isn’t running correctly, you may have to call a professional or AC cleaning expert. If the refrigerant is low, they are the only people who can add refrigerant.