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Basics of AC Maintenance: How to Clean Your AC Unit

Each year, air conditioning costs American homeowners around $29 billion. Regular AC maintenance is key to keeping these extreme costs down.

Without routine air conditioning check-ups, the system gets increasingly clogged with debris and dirt. The coolant levels can also fall much lower than they should be, and the fans and filters need to be cleaned. All of these conditions can cause your AC system to work harder, driving up your energy costs, or even break down completely.

The last thing any homeowner wants to face is a broken air conditioner during the hottest days of the summer. To prevent this from happening to you, check out these air conditioning maintenance tips and apply them to your system.

Safety First

Before performing any work on your air conditioning unit, make sure to disconnect any power sources. Simply turning off the system is not enough to completely guarantee that there is no residual electricity running through the system. It’s best to turn off the power source at the main electrical panel before beginning your maintenance routines.

Check for Debris

This is the easier, more straightforward part of AC maintenance. All you need is a screwdriver or wrench to remove the unit’s fan cage. Once the cage is out of the way, you can use a leaf blower to get rid of any debris lurking inside.

Make sure to also check around your unit for any vegetation encroaching on its space. You should have at least a 2-foot radius around your unit to prevent any reduction in air flow.

Check the Fins

It’s likely that your fins are dirty as well. You can clean outside dirt using a shop vacuum, and then use your hose to spray dirt from the inside out. If the hose doesn’t provide enough pressure to clean sufficiently, you’ll need a special fin cleaning spray that you can find at any home improvement store.

You may also find that your fins have become bent out of shape. Use any tool at your disposal to straighten those out as they can cause your unit to reduce air flow.

Clean Your Unit

There are many moving parts within an AC unit that need to be regularly cleaned. First, clean the evaporator coil and drain. There are evaporator coil cleaning sprays available at any home improvement store that you can use. For the drain, pour a half bleach, half water mixture down it to clear it.

Your blower filter needs to be replaced at least twice a year, so make sure to do that if you haven’t done so. Certain environments, like those with more sand or dust, may require more changes.

AC Maintenance Experts

Why resign your air conditioning unit to a 10 or 15-year lifespan when you can get 20 years or more? While AC maintenance routines seem like a pain to keep up with, they are more cost effective than running your system ragged.

Of course, it’s always best to leave the more complicated procedures to the experts. Don’t hesitate to contact Americare Heat and Air for professional help with your air conditioning maintenance.

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