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Spring Means Air Conditioner Maintenance Time!

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It may still be February, but if the temperatures from the last few days are any indication, spring is on its way! Before it gets into full gear, spend a few minutes of quality time with your air conditioner to make sure it’s prepared to handle warmer temperatures after not being used all winter. By performing some simple cleaning tips and basic MD or DC air conditioner maintenance tasks before having to turn the AC full time, your air conditioning unit will run more efficiently and have fewer chances of breaking down during the spring and summer.

How to Clean Your Air Conditioner

The most important thing to do before you start any air conditioner maintenance project is to make sure the AC power is shut off. You do not want the unit kicking on when you’re working on it! To do this, either flip the air conditioner disconnect switch or turn off the power to your air conditioner from the circuit breaker. Afterwards, start with a quick clean of the condenser coil. The condenser coil surrounds your compressor and it’s made up of tiny little fins (via which the heat from your house is transferred to the great outdoors). Since the fan that’s inside the condenser unit draws in air from the outside, it brings in dirt, dust, leaves, dead grass and other debris that can block airflow and reduce the unit’s efficiency. To clean it, remove the outer case and vacuum the fins with a vacuum cleaner using a soft bristle attachment. Be extremely careful not to bend the fins – they are very delicate and can be expensive to replace. After you finish vacuuming, apply five drops of oil to the electric motor (this is different from penetrating or all purpose oil – you can find it at your local hardware store). If your fan motor is maintenance-free, you can skip this step.

After you’ve cleaned the outdoor unit of your air conditioner, it’s time to move inside. The easiest thing to do here is to remove the filter and either clean it or replace it. Make sure the system is off, so the blower doesn’t kick on unexpectedly and blow dust through the system. Next, open the blower compartment and use the electric motor oil to lubricate any ports on the motor that are accessible (again, you may not have access to these ports). Once you’ve done this, vacuum up any dust that has collected in the compartment. To finish off the project, check the condensation drain for sludge and algae growth. Clean it out by pouring a bleach solution made of one part bleach to 16 parts water through the drain. If necessary, poke a wire or unwound coat hanger through the drain port to make sure it isn’t blocked.

And finally – make sure to turn off your humidifier that may be on your furnace. The last thing you need in the summer is more humidity! If you’ve finished cleaning out your air conditioner but want a professional heating and air conditioning company to come out and provide a more thorough inspection and tune-up, call the experts at Michael Bonsby Heating and Air Conditioning today!

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