Your air conditioner is one of the most important, and most used appliances in your home. This becomes especially true in the summer heats of Redlands, California, where the average high temperatures are over ninety degrees Fahrenheit. The residents of Redlands regularly clean their air conditioners in the early Spring months to make sure that they continue to run efficiently and effectively. The first thing you need to do before you begin to clean your air conditioner is make sure that there is no power going to the unit. Once you are sure that the power supply is turned off, you can unscrew the fan cage, and take it off. You can then remove any debris inside. Some people do this by hand, and others prefer to use a wet/dry vacuum.
The fins can become dirty and clogged, and may need to be cleaned. You can use a hose to do this, or you can buy a special fin cleaning spray but you should always clean from the inside out. This way means that the dirt and debris ends up outside the unit, rather than inside where you’ve just cleaned. You should also inspect the fins for signs of damage and for any that are bent. Damaged or bent fins reduces the air flow, and makes your system much less efficient. You can carefully straighten the fins with a butter knife, but you need to be careful so as not to damage the tubing inside. Wholesale air conditioner retailers sell a special tool called a fin comb, which is designed to straighten the fins.
You should also make sure that the area around the unit is clean. Clear away any debris and foliage, giving the unit two foot of clearance in all directions. This might mean that you need to cut away plants, shrubs and vegetation. Your unit should be level, so check to make sure that it is, and if necessary, you can slide some wood underneath to make sure that it is.
Once you have finished cleaning, and reassembling the external unit, you can begin on the internal unit. There will be a door to the evaporator coil, you can remove it. You should clean the coil with a soft brush, and use an evaporator coil spray, which won’t need to be rinsed off. You should clean the drain pan, and check for blockages. You could put a solution of half water and half bleach down the drain. If it doesn’t clear, then there is probably a blockage somewhere. Drain pan tablets are readily available and can help to prevent further algae growth. Put the evaporator coil door back on, and reseal it fully. If there is an air leak, then you can use duct tape to make sure that it’s fully sealed.
Once you’ve finished this, you can check the filter. Depending on the type of filter you have, you may be able to clean it off, or it may need to be replaced. After you’ve cleaned, and reassembled everything, you can turn the power back on, and run your AC. You should keep a regular cleaning and maintenance schedule for you AC, and have it serviced once a year by a professional. This can keep the unit running effectively, and increase its longevity, so you have more time before you need an AC replacement.