On those hot summer days and nights, your air conditioning unit is your best friend. The problem is, over time, your AC unit can become less efficient and more costly to run.
AC units are also susceptible to mould growth, so cleaning is essential.
If your AC unit needs to be repaired, you should call a professional. But if you’re looking to save money and energy each month, you need to make sure you focus on an AC tune up.
Check out these 5 easy AC maintenance tips anyone can do.
AC Maintenance Tip #1: Clean the External Unit
Before maintenance to your AC unit, turn off the power.
The external part of your air conditioning unit will have a buildup of dirt and grime from its life outdoors, as well as the dust picked up from inside your home.
Use a wet and dry vac to suck up the leaves and dirt inside the body of the unit.
Next, take a hose and, working from the inside, gently wash down the air conditioner fins. If they’re particularly grimy, dilute washing detergent in a spray bottle and apply it to the fins.
Finally, clear the area around your external AC unit. Trim back bushes and rake away leaves so they don’t blow straight back inside with a gust of wind.
AC Maintenance Tip #2: Clean the Evaporator
If your plenum, or air-distribution box, has foil-wrapped insulation around it, then you can clean the evaporator as part of your AC tune up.
Remove the insulation gently (you’ll need to put it back), and unscrew the evaporator cover behind it.
Use a brush to remove the dust build-up, and keep your wet and dry vac handy to clear away the resulting mess.
Next, clean the condenser tray beneath the evaporator. Add a tablespoon of bleach to the tray before you replace it, to minimise mould growth.
AC Maintenance Tip #3: Unplug the Evaporator Drain
The pipe connected to your condenser tray removes moisture from the tray and routes it down the drain.
Because heat and moisture encourage mould growth, your AC drain pipe may get blocked. To clean it out, detach the bottom of the pipe and attach it to your wet and dry vacuum cleaner.
Protect the join with a towel so no air escapes, and run your vac for around 3 minutes to clear the drain.
When you’re finished, reattach the pipe to the drain.
AC Maintenance Tip #4: Check Your Thermostat
Your thermostat is the controller for the temperature in your home, so make sure it’s working properly.
Replace any batteries and check everything’s working. If your thermostat’s old or broken, replacing it will save you money in the long-run.
AC Maintenance Tip #5: Clean or Replace the Internal Filter
If you have a reusable filter in your AC unit, take it out and use your vac to suck up any dust.
Next, rinse it gently in your bathtub using some mild detergent, or outdoors using a hose, to clear away the rest of the dust. Then dry off the filter and replace it. You should do this every month when you’re running the AC often.
If you don’t have a reusable filter, then you should replace it twice a year, whether it’s dirty or not.
Now, turn the power back on and you’re good to go.
The Takeaway on an AC Tune Up
AC units work hard for us in the background, but if they start to struggle they can make life uncomfortable.
Perform our 5 simple AC maintenance steps and you can save yourself the hassle and reduce your energy bills.
Liked what you read, but having problems with your radiators? Check out our article Radiators Not Working / Heating Up before calling a heating engineer.