Your air conditioning keeps your home comfortable when the temperatures outside are rising. However, if you don’t take proper care of your system, you might find it fails when you need it the most. Here we offer nine tips on how to clean an air conditioner, so it is perfectly cleaned.
1. Have the Proper Tools
Professional AC service experts use the proper tools to get the job done right. The tools needed depends on the type of unit you have. A good rule of thumb is to take a look at both your interior and exterior unit to look at the types of screws and bolts used so you can easily access the delicate parts within. You also want to have tools such as a soft brush to clean the coils and an effective vacuum hose to get at the dust and dirt. Also, because you are working without power, be sure to have a light source such as a flashlight or camping light so you can see what you are doing.
2. Turn Off the Power
To avoid electrocution, turn off the power at your breaker box. As mentioned, you won’t have any light when working, so cleaning your AC during the day makes sense.
3. Wear a Mask
If you have allergies, wear a mask when working as you’ll be exposed to tiny particulates that can aggravate your symptoms.
4. How to Clean AC Unit Inside: Clean the Coils
The evaporator coils are located inside your indoor AC unit. It is made of copper and is quite delicate so use a soft brush to remove dust. If you are unsure how to get to your coils or clean them a professional HVAC technician will be able to clean this for you during a maintenance check.
5. No-Rinse Cleaner
Use a no-rinse air conditioner coil cleaner after the dust is removed with a brush to get at the areas you can’t reach.
6. Clean the Drain Pan
The coil cleaner will drip into the drain pan, so do this next. Use mild soap and hot water first to clean the pan. If you are wondering, can I use bleach to clean an air conditioner, you can use a 50/50 mixture of bleach and water to sanitize. Professional AC service experts use AC drain pan tablets to prevent algae growth. You can purchase them at your home improvement store.
7. Clear the Drain
If you find the bleach solution takes time to drain, you probably have mold or algae blockage. How to clean a moldy air conditioner requires clearing the drain. This is a hassle as the drain end is usually outside near the condenser unit but could also be attached to a utility sink or a drain in the basement floor. If you manage to find the drain end, you then need a wet/dry vacuum to clear the drain of moldy buildup.
8. Best Way to Clean a Reusable Air Conditioner Filter
Be careful when cleaning the filter as too much pressure can cause damage. A vacuum works best, using the hose to remove dust. You can then soak the filter in the bathtub in a mix of water and liquid detergent for about 15 minutes. Then apply a one-to-one solution of vinegar and water to kill bacteria using a spray bottle and let it sit for 10 minutes. Rinse the filter with clean water and let it air dry. If you are wondering how long to wait after cleaning an air conditioner, it takes at least three hours before you put the filter back in for it to be safe to turn on again.
9. Clean Your Outside Unit
This part of the cleaning requires specific tools to get the unit cleaned properly. However, you can remove debris from around the AC such as branches and weeds. If you try to clean the working parts inside the unit, it calls for a caustic coil cleaning solution that can cause serious burns. It’s best to leave the outside unit to the professionals.
The best way to keep your entire AC unit clean is to call in the professionals in the spring and fall for AC maintenance.
If you need reliable service to clean your AC, speak to the pros at Advantage Airtech ClimateCare.