changing hvac filter

How to Clean Your AC

When it comes to maintaining maximum performance and efficiency, routine AC maintenance is necessary. Here at Parks Heating, Cooling & Plumbing, your comfort and safety are our utmost priorities, which is why our team wants to help you keep your AC in top shape. Continue reading to learn how you can clean your AC.

The below process can take anywhere between 45 minutes and 2 hours depending on the condition of your air conditioner and your skill level.

Tools You Need

To clean your air conditioner, you will need a few items, including:

  • A ladder
  • A wet vacuum
  • A water hose
  • A drill and other hand tools

Shut off the Power

To keep your home and family, you should start by turning off the power to your system. First, find the shut-off box on your compressor to turn off the outside unit. Then, find the circuit breaker to turn off the power inside. This protects you as you examine and work around electrical connections and moving parts.

Replace Your Filters

Replace your air filter every 1-3 months in order to strengthen airflow and reduce indoor air contaminants in your home.

Tip: Before shopping for a new filter, be sure to check the size of your current filter. You can run into airflow issues when you purchase the wrong size.

Check the Lines

Carefully examine your condenser lines to look for any obvious signs of damage, including missing or ripped insulation.

Flushing/Clearing the Drain Lines

To remove any clogs or blockages, clear your drain lines. This sometimes requires access to the attic or crawl space.

Check Your Vents

Your air registers should be open and nothing should be blocking them. Blocking your air registers can put a lot of strain on your AC.

Remove Debris from Outside Unit

Remove the fan grill from your compressor using a screwdriver or wrench. Be sure to lift the fan grill up and away from the top of the unit. Once the fan grill is removed, clear away any leaves, dirt, twigs, or other debris from inside of the unit. This can be done by hand or with a vacuum. Then, replace the fan grill.

Clean the Coils

Use a garden hose to gently remove any dirt, dust, and other debris from the coils on your AC unit. Never use a pressure washer as that can damage your coils. If your coils are extra dirty, you can purchase a coil cleaning spray for extra cleaning power.

Straighten the Coils

Bent coils can reduce the efficiency of your AC, so carefully straighten them out using a butter knife.

Clean around the Unit

When your outside AC unit is blocked by debris, it can experience a significant drop in efficiency. Make sure to clear away any leaves, branches, gardening tools, or other items blocking the unit. Also, be sure to cut back any vegetation that is growing within 2 feet of the unit.

Winter tip: During winter, we recommend placing a cover over the top of your AC unit. This can help reduce the amount of debris that falls into your unit. Be sure to only cover the top because fully covering the AC can invite pests and create moisture problems.

Turn the Power Back On

That’s it! Don’t forget to turn your AC power back on once you’re all done.

Call Parks Heating, Cooling & Plumbing For Professional Maintenance

While keeping your AC clean is important, there are additional maintenance items that can only be done by a professional such as monitoring refrigerant levels and testing airflow. To make sure your AC is completely taken care of, be sure to schedule annual AC maintenance.

Backed by 40+ years of service experience, you can trust that our team here at Parks Heating, Cooling & Plumbing knows a thing or two about how to keep your AC running better for longer! Turn to our HVAC professionals for some of the most comprehensive and reliable AC maintenance services around.

Our additional air conditioning services include:

For more AC maintenance tips, or to schedule an appointment, call (704) 313-1443 or contact us online.

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