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Get ready for spring by cleaning your air conditioner!

Posted on: February 28, 2011

Spring isn’t quite here yet, but it’s not too early to start getting your air conditioner ready for warm weather! If you want to get the jump on the summer heat, spend a few hours cleaning your air conditioner to  get it all fixed up for the upcoming seasons – you’ll be relaxing in the pleasant cool while your neighbors are calling for air conditioner repair!

Cleaning Your Central Air Conditioner

The first step in cleaning your central air conditioner is removing the cover that protects the outdoor unit. Remove any dead leaves and debris from the unit and brush or hose off any dirt or other debris that has built up on the grilles or fins. If you see any rust when cleaning your air conditioner, scrape it off with a wire brush and give the area a once-over with a rust remover.

When you’re cleaning your air conditioner, don’t forget to make sure the furnace filters are clean too! Your air conditioner uses the same blower that the furnace uses to move cool air through your home, so it’s just as important to keep your air filters clean during the spring and summer as it is during the winter.

Cleaning Room Air Conditioners

If you use room air conditioners, make sure you clean the air conditioner cooling fins and coils before you put the units back in your windows. You should be able to reach them via a removable exhaust panel – if you can’t find it, consult your owner’s manual. Since the air conditioner coils are constantly wetted while the air conditioner is operational, they attract a lot of dust which can make the air conditioner very inefficient. To clean your room air conditioner, make sure it is unplugged and brush or vacuum the dirt and dust out as well as you can. Don’t forget to check for clogs in the drain channels, which are located at the bottom of the air conditioning unit (on the outside). If the drains are clogged, excess moisture will condense on the inside portion of the unit and drip onto the walls and carpeting inside your home, potentially damaging or discoloring them. If they are clogged, use a stiff wire or brush to clear them out.

Once you’re finished cleaning the air conditioner, it’s time to check the air filter. To do this, pop off the front grille and vacuum the filter or wash it with warm, sudsy water (be sure you rinse and dry it before you put it back!). If the filter looks beat up, replace it with a new one from the same manufacturer. While the air filter is out, be sure you also take a vacuum to the intake cooling coils – dust on these is a major cause of less than efficient air conditioner operation.

By cleaning your air conditioner early in the season before you really start to need it, you can help it run as efficiently as possible. If you want to install a new air conditioner this spring, or if you want air conditioner repair and maintenance service, call James A. Wheat & Sons today!