Cleaning Your Central Air Conditioning Unit

Summer is right around the corner and that means the return of air conditioning to keep you cool during times of higher temperatures. Now is the time to get your central air conditioning serviced if there are problems that need addressing before warmer weather settles in. Here are some routine cleaning steps to do in preparation of air conditioning use.

Clean Out The Condenser

When your air conditioning is in use, debris will build up inside the condenser. If you failed to clean this out at the end of the last warm season, do it now so the condenser works without air flow restriction. Turn off all power to your central air before you start working on it. The power switch is located next to the condenser on the exterior of your home.

Take the cover off of the condensing portion of your air conditioner by using a screwdriver to remove it.  Use a shop vacuum with a brush attachment to remove any dirt build-up from the fins. The brush will help keep the fins from bending.

Remove the top grille from the condenser so the fan is exposed. Change the attachment on your shop vacuum to a crevice tool and use it to remove any dirt from around the fan. Rotate the blades with your hand to make sure there are no obstructions. If there is an excessive caking of dirt, use a mild detergent and water to wipe down the blades. Allow it to air dry before replacing the grille.

Clean Out The Evaporator

The evaporator is either located within your furnace or it has its own unit close to the furnace. Clean the fins on the evaporator in the same way that the condenser fins were cleaned. Change out the air filter before you start using your air conditioning so that any of last season's debris will be taken out of the unit. This helps with airflow and saves you money since the air conditioner runs more efficiently with a new filter.

The condensation tubing will run from the evaporator to a water pump that will push the water outdoors. This tubing is usually transparent, making it easy to see if it has a buildup of algae or dirt inside. Remove the tube from the evaporator and rinse it out with a mixture of water and mild detergent. Allow it to air dry and replace.

If you need to contact an air conditioning contractor, visit Davidson's Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning.