Taking the proper care of your central A/C unit can ensure the likelihood of efficient airflow within your home. This is how to clean your outside air conditioner unit.
This is a Health Task!
A clean A/C unit will ensure that the air quality in your home is healthy and will prevent a lot of allergic reactions.
This is a Preventative Maintenance Task!
Consistent A/C maintenance will prolong the unit’s lifespan. When filters are not cleaned regularly, more stress is put on fans, motors, and pumps, which may cause expensive failures.
This is an Energy Efficiency Task!
If the fins on your unit get too dirty or your central air filters aren’t clean, the unit will use more power, increasing your energy costs. A level unit will also prevent water damage and allow your unit to run more efficiently.
Tasks can be done by: Homeowner, Handyman, HVAC professional
How To Clean Your Outside Air Conditioner Unit | Task Steps
Step 1 – Getting Prepared
- Turn on the system and determine how good the airflow is coming through the ducts.
- Put your hand in front to feel the air or hold a tissue in front and see if it moves away from the air ducts as the air blows out.
- For outside unit maintenance, make sure to turn off the power to the A/C unit. This is usually located in a box near the unit, or it can be a separate switch located in your circuit breaker.
- Inspect any foliage near the unit; it may need to be cut back or removed so it doesn’t affect the airflow in and out of the unit. Clean up any trash or leaves that are around the unit.
- Set a level on top of the A/C unit and inspect to see if it’s level. It needs to slope slightly away from the house. Then water will drain away.
- Tool List: Level – torpedo
Step 2 – Taking the cover off & cleaning the inside
- Again, make sure that the power to the unit is turned off completely.
- Remove the top of the unit. Put any screws or small bolts you remove in a safe place, so you don’t lose them. Once the top of the unit is removed, you should see that the fan is attached to the top. Clean the inside and outside of the cover.
- Next, clean the bottom of the unit. Make sure there are no critters as you start to clean everything. *If you do run into unwanted creatures making a home in your A/C unit, it would be a good idea to call a professional to deal with the issue* Usually, you’ll only find dust and grass clippings. If everything looks all clear, then vacuum out the bottom of the unit until it looks clean.
- Tool List: screwdriver, wrench – adjustable, vacuum cleaner
Step 3 – Cleaning A/C fins
- The A/C unit sides consist of “fins,” which allow airflow. Using the vacuum with a brush attachment, gently vacuum the fins. Be careful not to bend the fins.
- Once the fins are thoroughly cleaned to your liking, reattach the top to the unit and bolt it back into place.
- Finally, spray soapy water onto the outside of the fins. Let it sit for a few minutes. Then rinse off the fins with the garden hose. Make sure the water pressure is low because this, too, could bend the fins. A quick rinse should do the trick.
- Tool List: vacuum cleaner, screwdriver, wrench – adjustable, hose, garden, spray bottle
- Supply List & Costs: dish soap
Hopefully, these tips will help you keep your outdoor A/c Unit in tip-top shape! Now you know how to clean your outside air conditioner unit!
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