With summer coming to an end in Manassas, now is an ideal time to get a kick start on air conditioner maintenance.
If you haven’t cleaned it this year, it could be full of dirt and yard refuse. This buildup can reduce your unit’s efficiency and cause it to malfunction. Or wear it down faster.
We suggest having your air conditioning system professionally maintained annually. Why? Clean equipment can be more energy efficient, which could save you money on electric bills.
Regular AC maintenance also helps our technicians spot and handle small issues before they develop into high-priced problems.
Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner from Failing
Some of the work we complete involves:
- Viewing the blower, motor, drain line and coils
- Watching pressure and temperature
- Reviewing lines, refrigerant levels and connections
There’s still time to have service done this fall—and we can get your furnace prepared for heating season too.
There’s also some work you can do by yourself between professional tune-ups. It only takes about an hour to get the grime off your outdoor condenser unit, as well as a couple of components on your indoor HVAC system.
Related: How Often Should You Expect to Get Air Conditioning Service Done?
How to Clean Your Outside AC Unit
Pick a warm day to clean your air conditioner. At least 60 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) is great. That way, you can check your equipment once you’ve cleaned it.
You’ll only need a couple of things:
- Wet-dry vacuum and hose with a soft brush attachment
- Butter knife
- Damp rag
- Small, round paintbrush
- Replacement furnace filter (if necessary)
Related: How AC Repair and Maintenance Can Actually Save You Money
Five Steps to Clean the Outside Unit
1. Turn Off the Power
Switch off the power to your air conditioner at the breaker box.
2. Clean the Outside
Remove rubbish from the unit. This includes branches, bushes, weeds and grass.
Then run the vacuum to gently clean the metallic fins. These parts are also referred to as condenser coils and move heat away from your system.
You need to be cautious with these delicate coils. Bent or crumpled fins can influence efficiency.
3. Fix Bent Fins
Use a butter knife to rearrange misshapen fins. You can also get a fin comb from an appliance part retailer. A pro from Woody's Sudden Service should fix large amounts of damage.
4. Clean the Inside
After removing the fan, dig out leaves and other yard waste. Then wipe the inside of the system with a wet sponge.
The only coil cleaner you should use is water. Use gentle pressure from a hose nozzle to rinse the fins, showering water from the inside out. Put the fan back in once you’re completed.
5. Test Your Air Conditioner
Now it’s time to restore power and turn your air conditioner back on. If it’s not operating like it should, reach out to us a call at 703-278-2036.
Related: Air Conditioner Service: Pay a Little Now, Save Later
Three Steps to Clean the Indoor Unit
1. Turn Off the Power
Cut the power to your furnace at the breaker box.
2. Check Your Filter
Furnace filters should be exchanged every several months, depending on the type you use.
Unsure when you last checked yours? Remove it and angle it toward the light. If there’s no light visible, buy a new one.
3. Clean the Inside
Remove the blower door and vacuum up dust.
Then inspect your air conditioner’s drain line—it’s a pliable plastic tube. If it’s scummy, you can freshen it by flowing thinned bleach through the tube to clean the line. Or you can buy a new tube.
Clean the drain port using a small, round paintbrush. Connect the drain tube and turn the power back on.
Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner Running Well Through Fall
Never Forget a Tune-Up Again
Annual air conditioner maintenance from Woody's Sudden Service can make your equipment more efficient and help it last longer. We also have convenient service agreements, so you won’t forget to plan your annual maintenance!