Your AC unit gets you through the Ohio summers. You need it and, let’s face it, you love your AC. It keeps you cool through the most brutal summer days and comfortable through the sweaty, miserable summer nights. You know and trust that you will feel relief from the heat when you walk through your front door. If you need and love something so much, you want to take care of it. Taking good care of your AC unit will ensure that it will work efficiently for years to come. The experts at Allied Services, Inc. offer these ten easy steps to properly maintain your AC.
1. Shut off the power.
On the exterior condenser/compressor, look for an exterior shut-off box near the unit. Indoors, also turn the power off at the breaker box.
2. Remove debris.
Remove the fan cage and use your hand or a wet/dry vacuum to remove any leaves, dirt, and debris from the interior.
3. Clean the fins.
Remove the outer covers and use the brush attachment on a powerful shop vacuum to remove all outside dirt. Then, using a gentle stream from a garden hose, spray through the fins from the inside out to remove any built-up dirt or debris between the fins.
4. Straighten the fins.
Carefully straighten bent fins using a butter knife or commercially available fin-straightening tool. Be gentle so that the tubing embedded within the fins is not damaged.
5. Clean the area around the unit.
Rake back leaves and debris outside the condenser, and cut back branches and vegetation at least 2 feet in all directions to ensure proper airflow around the unit.
6. Level the unit.
Over time, the pad upon which the condenser unit sits can begin to tip as the soil settles beneath it. An unlevel condenser unit can cause the compressor to fail early. Check that the condenser is level and, if needed, use rot-resistant shims to bring it back to level.
7. Clean the evaporator coil.
Inside, use a soft brush to dust off the coil, then spray the coil with commercially available no-rinse coil cleaner. The spray will foam up and then drip into the drain pan. Clean out the drain pan with soap, hot water, and a little bleach. Then, pour a cup of 50% bleach/50% water down the drain.
8. Clean a plugged evaporator drain.
A plugged drain can either cause damage by flooding onto the floor or, if the system is equipped with a drain float, cause the system to stop cooling in order to avoid flooding. For step-by-step directions on how to clean the evaporator drain, check out this article from our friends at DIYnetwork.com.
9. Change the blower filter.
Remove the old filter and install the new filter, matching the air-flow direction arrows on the filter to those on the unit. Close and latch the door.
10. Turn the power back on.
The last step is self-explanatory. However, if you are having trouble with any of these steps or if your AC system needs more help that you can provide yourself, contact the experts at Allied Service today at (937) 269-5059 to schedule an appointment.