How To Clean And Prepare Your Central Air Conditioner For Summer

As a homeowner, you can keep your central air conditioner working well this summer by performing a yearly cleaning when the warmer months of spring arrive. Without any special tools or expensive supplies, you can take the necessary steps to ensure the air conditioner is clean and working correctly.

If during your cleaning project you discover the system isn't working as well as you expect it to or you discover any broken parts, then you will have time to call for a professional air conditioning repair appointment before the heat of summer really kicks in.

To clean your central air conditioner, follow this procedure:

Step 1: Turn Off the Air Conditioner's Power

To ensure you can safely work with the air conditioner, first, you need to disconnect its power. The easiest way to do so is to turn off the power breaker and to pull the shutoff fuse in the box near the outdoor compressor unit. Doing so ensures there is no power flowing to the unit and eliminates the risk of electrocution.

Step 2: Remove All Vegetation and Trash Near the Outdoor Compressor Unit 

Fallen leaves, dead weeds, and other vegetation that is near the outdoor compressor unit can easily get sucked in and clog it up. When this happens, the internal parts are threatened with damage and the unit won't work as efficiently.

When cleaning up the area around the condenser, don't use a leaf blower because you will risk blowing the dirt and dead vegetation into the unit. Instead, use a broom.

Step 3: Replace the Furnace Filter with a Clean One

Once the outdoor unit has been cleaned, then you need to replace the filter inside where the rest of your HVAC system is located. The existing furnace will have its size printed on it and you can purchase replacements at any hardware store.

Step 4: Vacuum Out the Inside of the Furnace Compartment

Though your home's HVAC system has a filter to remove dust and dirt, it will still accumulate in the compartment where your system is located. To remove it, use the hose attachment on your vacuum and just be careful to avoid vacuuming in areas with wires. 

Step 5: Have the System Professionally Cleaned and Inspected Every Few Years

Finally, while cleaning the system yourself is helpful for extending the life of your residential air conditioner, a professional inspection and cleaning are required every few years. A licensed HVAC technician can safely clean areas of your air conditioner you can't safely access and they can advise you if the air conditioning system needs any repairs.

Contact a repair service, like Cook's Air, for more help.