Following the frigid winter days and spring rain, the warmth of summer welcomed. But it’s only just a few weeks until temperatures soar and you’ll become dependent on your air conditioner for comfort.
Now is the time to prepare. Here, you will learn how to get your central and window air conditioning units fully prepared to handle the load of summer.
Cleaning Your Unit
Both window units and central air units need to be cleaned on a regular basis. This is necessary to keeping the units in optimal working order. The following outlines a basic strategy for cleaning each type of system:
- Window Air Conditioner – Before starting the cleaning process, ensure that the unit is out of the window and placed on a sturdy work surface, like an outdoor work table. You will need to take off the mounting frame using a screwdriver. Make certain that you put the screws that you remove in a safe location. You should take a can of the foam-based coil cleaner designed for air conditioners and spray the coils. Follow the manufacturer guidelines listed on the cleaning can. While that works, clean off the blades of the fan with a soft cloth and a household cleaner. If you see any area that requires lubrication, oil as appropriate. Pour a small amount of bleach on the condensation drain. Wipe all surfaces and allow to completely dry. Once dry, reassemble the mounting frame.
- Central Air Conditioner – Shut off the power to the unit. This should be done at the outdoor shutoff located near the unit. If you see no option for “off”, simply pull the plug. As an added precaution, turn off the circuit or fuse inside the home, too. Take a vacuum cleaner and thoroughly clean the condenser fins. It is best to use a wet/dry vacuum unit. If you notice the fins are bent, straighten them gently with a small tool or butter knife. Unscrew and lift the fan from its housing. Use a water hose and wash off the blades of the fan. Spray the water from the inside out through the fins. Before reassembling, spray off the entire surface of the unit and clean around the unit. For example, remove sticks, leaves, and other items that may complicate the appliance’s drainage system. If need be, clean out the little drain that comes off of the unit so that it works appropriately upon starting. Reassemble and turn on the power to the unit.
If you turn on a window or central air conditioning unit that is dirty, it may not function appropriately. In addition to this, it could result in health complications.
For example, a dirty window unit may blow in mold spores. A dirty central air conditioning unit could blow in dust and pollen that will result in respiratory problems.
Cleaning air conditioners is relatively easy; however, if you are not comfortable with the task, it is important that you contact a HVAC professional to perform the cleaning.
This way, it is done right and you do not have to worry over damaging the unit or your personal safety.
Change or Clean the Filter
The next step in preparing your air conditioner for the winter months is to change or clean the filter that is part of the unit.
In most instances, a window air conditioner will have a built-in filter that may be removed and cleaned.
It typically slides in and out from either the front of the unit or the side of the unit. Take it out and use a soft brush and basic dish liquid. Clean the filter itself and its casing both front and back. Allow it to dry and then slide it back in your unit.
For a central air conditioner, there is usually a replaceable filter in the unit. You will have to know its measurements in order to buy a new one.
These are typically listed on the surrounding cardboard that holds the filter in place. If you have pets, a large number of people in the home, or someone in the home that has allergies or respiratory issues, you should always replace the filter with one that states “HEPA” or is designed for these circumstances. Remember, once you start your system for the season, to change the filter once every two to four weeks for optimal performance.
The next step to preparing your window or central air conditioner for the winter months is to call a HVAC professional and schedule maintenance for the system.
This expert will come to your home and run a complete evaluation of your system and make any necessary tune-ups.
Having your air conditioning system evaluated helps to ensure that your system is running optimally, and will also help to extend the overall lifespan of your unit.
Furthermore, it is a great way to catch issues before they become serious and result in hefty costs. Most professionals will place you on a schedule that includes checks twice a year. This is highly advised.
We Can Help
We here at Reynolds can assist you in making certain that your window or central air conditioner is completely ready for the warm, summer months. We are able to perform cleanings of your systems, replacements of filters, and standard maintenance.
There is nothing more troublesome than starting your unit up on that first hot day to discover that it is not working properly. To avoid this complication, you may call us today for assistance: 765-966-0994