3 Ways to Clean and Maintain Central AC Units

Here at Air System Services, we often write about the importance of air conditioning maintenance. We stress this topic because we know from years and years of experience, that cleaning and maintaining your AC Unit will extend the lifespan of your central air system and save lots of money in the long run. This spring is no exception. Today we bring you 3 ways to clean your central ac unit.

Before we get into the tips, let’s discuss your AC Unit. In order to clean the unit it is necessary to first understand how it works. A Central AC unit, created to cool an entire household, is connected to the homes heating system by sharing duct work. An AC unit consists of a condenser unit and evaporator coils. The condenser is located outside, where it sucks in hot air, where the air is cooled by the evaporator coils, and is then blown through the duct work via a fan-coil system. Before you begin any of the maintenance on your AC unit be absolutely positive that you have turned off the power to the condenser and evaporator coils. The shut off box is usually found outside, mounted to the home next to the condenser. Turning off the power can prevent any unnecessary accidents or damage to your unit.

Now, let’s get to it.

Clean The Condenser

Since the condenser is the part of the system that sucks in outdoor air, it is likely that it will get quite dirty throughout the year. Fan blades can get clogged with dirt, dust, leaves and other debris, which can make the entire unit malfunction if you are not careful. Clean the fan blades of the condenser with a dry rag. Avoid using a wet rag because water and dirt make mud, thus creating a messy situation. Pick up a bottle of condenser unit cleaner from your local home improvement store and go to town on the fan and coils to ensure a clean intake and a long life for your condenser.

Clean the Evaporator

Before you clean off the evaporator, make sure you have cut off the power to not only the ac unit, but the furnace as well. This is important to do, since your evaporator coils are most commonly found in the same unit as the furnace and can lead to accident or damage if left on while cleaning the evaporator.  The first thing is to determine whether or not the coils are accessible through the plenum, or not. Often, that portion of the unit is encased in sheet metal, which would require an HVAC expert like the team at Air Systems Service, to assist this process. If the coils are accessible, use a hand held vacuum to remove debris, dirt and dust from the evaporator.

Remove Frost Buildup

Dormant ac units may experience a type of deep freeze through the winter months when they are not on. This may cause the unit to malfunction due to frost build up over the winter, so as this is less applicable in the spring and summer, pay attention to maintain your unit and remove frost buildup in its neglected winter months.

These three tips can help keep your AC unit running smoothly when the summer heat hits.  Call Air System Services today to schedule your annual AC checkup and extend the lifespan of your unit. We can be reached at (919) 266-5755, or click here to schedule your service online.

Categories: AC Maintenance Tips | Published: April 27, 2011