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Air Conditioner Maintenance Guide

 

Grainger Editorial Staff

Posted: 3/15/18

 
 
 
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Even the highest of quality appliances require a certain level of upkeep. It's vital that your systems are regularly maintained so that they can operate at peak performance. This includes anything from testing to prepping to cleaning. Learn all about the maintenance steps for your air conditioner with our guide:

OUTSIDE

Start the AC maintenance job by examining the outside of your air conditioner. Here are the parts you need to check out:

CONDENSER

This is typically on the outside of both commercial and residential units. This is the part of your appliance that rejects the heat absorbed inside the system. After consistent use, this portion works up a lot of dirt and grime, since it's typically exposed to the elements. Remove the grate over the fan and clean up and debris inside. Use a condenser or evaporator cleaner to flush everything out. In addition, make sure there are no obstructions between the fan and the air flow of the condenser.

FINS

Be sure to examine the fan's fins. They may be dirty or misshapen. You can add a little water to clean them off, but do not use any high-pressure systems (a hose will do) because fan's fins are very delicate and thin. If the fins are bent out of shape, you can use a fin comb to gently straighten it.

SURROUNDING AREA

Air conditioners are built to withstand tough conditions both indoors and outdoors. However, if there are any materials near the unit, be sure to brush them out of the way. It not only prevents potential issues down the road, but makes cleanup easier the next time.

INSIDE

Inspecting the insides of your air conditioner is essential in the upkeep process. Here are the parts you need to examine:

AIR FILTER

According to the Energy Department, routinely cleaning or replacing the air filters can lower your air conditioner's energy consumption by up to 15 percent. If your air filters are dirty, it will block ventilation and reduce your unit's efficiency and life span. Cleaning and replacing air filters should be a regular job, usually once or twice a year, depending on your system's model.

EVAPORATOR COILS

Use a tube or coil cleaning piece of equipment to dust off your evaporator coils. Even they're especially dirty, use a cleaning solution to get rid of the dirt and grime.

EVAPORATOR DRAIN

This device is crucial in your air conditioner's everyday working cycle. Attach a vacuum or pump to the end of it to remove anything that may cause a blockage.

WHEN TO GO PRO

Inspecting the insides of your air conditioner is essential in the upkeep process.

Although routinely cleaning your air conditioner yourself may be the cheaper option, sometimes bringing in a professional is inevitable. After doing all of the steps above, let your unit run for an entire cycle. If something still is wrong, like there odd noises or if it isn't cooling like it used to, call in a specialist for air conditioner repair.

SOURCES:

https://energy.gov/energysaver/common-air-conditioner-problems

https://energy.gov/articles/energy-saver-101-infographic-home-cooling

https://energy.gov/energysaver/maintaining-your-air-conditioner

 
 

 

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