Air Conditioning & Heating
Few routine chores will pay off more handsomely, both in comfort and in dollars saved, than a simple air-conditioner cleaning. The
payoff: Summertime comfort and lower cooling bills. You'll also prolong the life of your air conditioner.
Clean the Outdoor
- Shutoff power to the air conditioner. Turn off the 240-volt power at the appliance shutoff box. It's usually outside within
sight of the outdoor unit. Some shutoffs simply pull out; others have a handle to pull down or a fuse to remove. If there isn't one,
turn off the power at the circuit breaker at the main panel that controls the outdoor unit.
- Remove the outer case and vacuum the fins.
Vacuum the condenser fins with a soft-bristle brush attachment. The metal fins are delicate; avoid bending them. Clear away weeds,
grass and other debris that block airflow through the coil. You often have to unscrew a protective metal case and lift it off to get
at the condenser fins.
- Remove the grille. Unscrew the top grille and hold it open. The fan will usually come with it, so support
it carefully to avoid stretching the electrical wires and stressing the connections. If the fan doesn't lift out, avoid hitting it
with a direct spray of water when you clean the fins.
Clean the Indoor Unit
- Replace a dirty filter. Check the furnace filter and
change it if it's dirty to keep dust from collecting on the evaporator coil fins. Turn off the power to the furnace before pulling
the filter so the blower doesn't come on and blow dust throughout the system. Orient the filter according to the instructions printed
- Vacuum the blower compartment. Open the blower compartment (with the power turned off) and lubricate any accessible ports
on the blower motor with electric motor oil. Many newer blowers don't have ports, or if they do, they're inaccessible. Vacuum up any
dust that has collected in the compartment.
- Clean a clogged drain. Check the Condensation drain for sludge and algae growth.
If it's partially clogged, pour a bleach solution (1 part bleach to 16 parts water) through the tube. This rigid plastic tube can't
be removed unless you cut it. Flexible tubes should be removed and cleaned. If possible, poke a wire into the drain port to make sure
it's not blocked.
Spring Is Here...Time For a Clean and Check