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There’s no denying the fact that your air conditioner is a large part of what makes your family feel comfortable at home in the summertime. Many of us find our homes a great escape from the hot, humid days that Mother Nature likes to throw at us. Keeping your home air conditioning system running without a hitch all summer long starts with a good, thorough cleaning.

1. Set the Time Aside

The first step you need to take regarding the cleaning of your air conditioning unit is to set the time aside to do it. Cleaning your home air conditioning unit isn’t something that gets done in a couple of minutes. Rather, you’ll need to plan a good half of a day to complete this task correctly. The more time you devote to cleaning, the more thorough you’ll be.

2. Turn Off Your AC Unit and Get Started

When you’re ready to clean out your AC unit, you want to start by turning off your cooling system at the electrical panel. Simply flip the breaker off for your AC unit. This way, you can ensure there is no power going to it while you’re trying to clean it. You’ll need to clean both the inside and outside components in order to do a thorough cleaning of the entire system. It’s typically best to start with the inside components and work your way to the outside compressor unit.

3. Clean the Evaporator Coils

You’ll need to remove the access panel for your indoor air conditioning components. Start by using a soft brush to remove excess debris and dirt from the evaporator coils. You should be using a cleaning solution that is specifically designed for evaporator coils. This cleaning solution is referred to as a no-rinse coil cleaner, and you can find it at your local hardware store. The solution is a foam that works to remove the stuck-on debris and drips it off into the drip pan of the air conditioning unit.

4. Clean the Drain Pan

A big problem that many people run into with their air conditioner not working correctly is the drain being plugged. During your cleaning of the inside of your AC unit, it’s highly advisable that you take the time to clean up around the drain to ensure that it’s not plugged. You can do this by pouring a bleach solution down the drain. Once you finish cleaning the drain pan, it’s time to close the access panel to the indoor unit.

5. Remove Your Outside Grille Cover

Now it’s time to head outside to your outdoor compressor unit. You should still have the power off before you start to work on this unit. The first thing you want to do is remove the outside grille cover of the compressor so that you have access to its interior components. You can easily do this by removing the sheet metal screws that are located at the top of the unit. Most units are designed so that you do not have to disconnect any other wires from the grill and fan. However, if you’re unable to move the AC grille due to tight wires, you can disconnect the wires and reconnect them once you’re ready to put the AC cover back on.

6. Clean Out the Unit

Your outside unit is highly susceptible to exterior debris like leaves and twigs. It’s a good idea to have a vacuum to suck out all this debris from the entire air conditioning unit. Next up, you’ll want to clean your condenser coils. You need to pick up a cleaning solution at your local hardware store specifically designed for these outdoor condenser coils. Keep in mind that this chemical solution is caustic, so it’s necessary to take certain precautions to avoid injuring yourself when using it.

7. Straighten Up Your Fins

Most people are familiar with the fact that the outdoor condenser unit has metal grates that are also called fins. When these fins are bent, it reduces the amount of airflow that goes to the unit. In order to maintain the optimal efficiency of your cooling system, you’ll want to straighten out any of the bent air conditioner fins. You can find a kit to do this at your local hardware store. Once your fins are straightened back out, it’s time to put the cover back onto the unit and screw it in. If you had any wires for the fan disconnected, it’s time to reconnect those wires now.

Experienced AC Maintenance

While you can handle some tasks on your own, it’s typically best to turn to a professional company for quality AC maintenance. At Cardwell Heating & Air Conditioning, our experienced technicians provide quality heating and air conditioning services to residents of Cherry Hill and the surrounding areas. Our offerings include heating and cooling maintenance, repairs, and installations. We can also help with hot water heaters. Call us today to set up an appointment.