With summer ending in Wausau, now is a great time to get ahead on air conditioner maintenance.
If you haven’t cleaned it this year, it could be full of mud and yard refuse. This buildup can reduce your unit’s efficiency and cause it to stop working. Or require replacement sooner.
We recommend having your air conditioning system professionally serviced every year. Why? Clean equipment can be more energy efficient, which could save you money on utility expenses.
Regular AC maintenance also helps our technicians spot and take care of slight issues before they develop into expensive problems.
Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner from Failing
Some of the work we do involves:
- Viewing the blower, motor, drain line and coils
- Watching pressure and temperature
- Testing lines, refrigerant totals and connections
There’s still time to have service done this fall—and we can get your furnace ready for heating season too.
There’s also some maintenance you can do on your own between professional tune-ups. You just need about an hour to clean your outdoor condenser unit, as well as several pieces on your indoor HVAC system.
Related: How Often Should You Expect to Get Air Conditioning Service Done?
How to Clean Your Outside AC Unit
Choose a warm day to clean your air conditioner. At least 60 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) is best. That way, you can check the unit 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
Take out waste from the unit. This includes branches, bushes, weeds and grass.
Then use the vacuum to slowly clean the metallic fins. These parts are also called condenser coils and divert heat away from your system.
You need to be cautious with these fragile coils. Bent or crinkled fins can affect efficiency.
3. Fix Bent Fins
Use a butter knife to straighten bent fins. You can also get a fin comb from an appliance part retailer. A pro from Gilray Heating and Cooling should take care of extensive damage.
4. Clean the Inside
After removing the fan, pull out leaves and other yard rubbish. Then wipe the inside of the unit with a wet rag.
The only coil cleaner you need is water. Use slight pressure from a hose nozzle to wash the fins, directing water from the inside out. Replace the fan once you’re finished.
5. Test Your Air Conditioner
It’s safe to restore power and turn your air conditioner back on. If it’s not running like it should, give us a call at 715-301-0727.
Related: Air Conditioner Service: Pay a Little Now, Save Later
Three Steps to Clean the Indoor Unit
1. Turn Off the Power
Stop the power to your furnace at the breaker box.
2. Check Your Filter
Furnace filters must be changed every couple of months, depending on the kind you use.
Not sure when you last put in a new one? Pull it out and hold it up to the light. If there’s no light visible, get a new one.
3. Clean the Inside
Remove the blower door and vacuum up dust.
Then examine your air conditioner’s drain line—it’s a supple plastic tube. If it’s moldy, you can freshen it by draining thinned bleach through the tube to clean the line. Or you can get a new tube.
Wash the drain port using a small, round paintbrush. Hook up 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 Gilray Heating and Cooling can make your system more efficient and help it last longer. We also provide handy service agreements, so you won’t forget to schedule your routine service!