With summer coming to an end in Rapid City, now is an ideal time to get a kick start on air conditioner maintenance.
If you haven’t taken care of it this year, it could be blocked with mud and yard waste. This buildup can reduce your unit’s efficiency and cause it to malfunction. Or wear it down faster.
We recommend having your air conditioning system professionally tuned-up every year. Why? A clean system can be more energy efficient, which could save you money on utility bills.
Regular AC maintenance also helps our technicians locate and address slight issues before they turn into costly problems.
Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner from Failing
Some of the work we complete consists of:
- Taking a look at the blower, motor, drain line and coils
- Watching pressure and temperature
- Reviewing lines, refrigerant totals and connections
There’s still time to have maintenance done this fall—and we can get your furnace ready for heating season too.
There’s also some upkeep you can do alone between professional tune-ups. It only takes about an hour to wash your outdoor condenser unit, as well as a couple of parts on your indoor HVAC system.
Related: How Often Should You Expect to Get Air Conditioning Service Done?
How to Clean Your Outside AC Unit
Select a mild day to clean your air conditioner. At least 60 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) is great. That way, you can run your equipment once you’ve cleaned it.
You’ll only need a handful of items:
- Wet-dry vacuum and hose with a soft brush attachment
- Butter knife
- Damp rag
- Small, round paintbrush
- Replacement furnace filter (if necessary)
Related: How AC Repair and Maintenance Can Actually Save You Money
Five Steps to Clean the Outside Unit
1. Turn Off the Power
Stop the juice to your air conditioner at the breaker box.
2. Clean the Outside
Remove debris from the equipment. This includes branches, bushes, weeds and grass.
Then turn on the vacuum to gently clean the metallic fins. These pieces are also referred to as condenser coils and move heat away from your system.
You need to be cautious with these delicate coils. Bent or crinkled fins can impact efficiency.
3. Fix Bent Fins
Use a butter knife to adjust misshapen fins. You can also use a fin comb from an appliance part store. A pro from Precision Mechanical should fix severe damage.
4. Clean the Inside
After removing the fan, dig out leaves and other yard rubbish. Then mop the inside of the system with a wet rag.
The only coil cleaner you have to have is water. Use slight pressure from a hose nozzle to clean the fins, showering water from the inside out. Put the fan back in once you’re done.
5. Test Your Air Conditioner
Now it’s time to restore power and turn your air conditioner back on. If it’s not operating like it should, give us a call at 605-206-3766.
Related: Air Conditioner Service: Pay a Little Now, Save Later
Three Steps to Clean the Indoor Unit
1. Turn Off the Power
Turn off the electricity to your furnace at the breaker box.
2. Check Your Filter
Furnace filters need to be exchanged every couple of months, depending on the kind you use.
Unsure when you last replaced yours? Pull it out and angle it toward the light. If you can’t see light through it, buy a new one.
3. Clean the Inside
Remove the blower door and vacuum up dust.
Then examine your air conditioner’s drain line—it’s a pliable plastic tube. If it’s scummy, you can freshen it by pouring watered-down bleach through the tube to clean the line. Or you can replace the tube.
Scrub the drain port using a small, round paintbrush. Connect the drain tube and switch the power back on.
Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner Running Well Through Fall
Never Forget a Tune-Up Again
Annual air conditioner maintenance from Precision Mechanical can make your system more efficient and help it last longer. We also have handy service agreements, so you won’t forget to book your annual maintenance!