How to Clean an Air Conditioner
Cleaning your central air conditioner is something that most people hire a pro for but the process is rather simple. If your air conditioner is in good working order, there is no reason you can’t do it for yourself and save a few bucks. If, on the other hand, you are having problems with the unit, go ahead and spend the money. Most air conditioners can be cleaned carefully without risk.
Here is a quick look at the process of how to clean your air conditioner:
Change the filters
In the vast majority of air conditioning units you will find a filter that has to be changed out or cleaned. Refer to your users manual if the filter is to be cleaned, as all of them are not universal. That said, you can find the filters to be changed at most hardware stores and many grocery stores. Start with changing out the filters in the unit and where the air flow comes into the house. This should be done at least a couple times each year.
Disconnect power to the unit
This is absolutely vital and could be dangerous if skipped. Before you even think about working in and around a central air unit, you must disconnect the juice at the box and at the unit.
Clear all debris
Debris around the unit is the number one reason for clogs and poor function in an ac unit. Clear out any and all weeds, growths and anything else that might be clogging up your system.
Remove the outer panels
This is not that tough and usually can be done with a screwdriver. Remove the housing of the unit and clean it well with soap and water. Take care to allow the housing to dry completely and to really get it as clean as possible. The smoother the unit is, the better the unit will run.
While the housing is drying, take a moment to wipe down the blades in the central air unit. These can get rather nasty over time and will require a good bit of wiping. That said, be careful not to put too much pressure on the blades as you clean them. The wiring and attachment may come loose or loosen if you push too hard or don’t take care to be gentle.
Clean the coils with a hose
A water hose that has a sprayer works best but be careful. Take care to remove debris and not to loosen the coils with too much power.
Replace the housing and wipe down the outer edges
Put her back together and wipe her down clean. An air conditioner is not all that complicated for the basics. Keep in mind that poor performance can be complicated, however. Know when to pay the pros and when to do the work yourself by listening to the unit and not going beyond what you know.