Its been perfect weather, that I haven't had to turn on the A/C either. However, it made me remember to get it ready.
I thought I'd outline the steps to get your Central A/C Unit ready for another summer of Cooling.
Doing these simple steps every spring can greatly prolong the life of your A/C unit... Saving you money!
Most people almost NEVER clean their Air Conditioner. The outside unit is basically just a big radiator, that dispels heat. If its dirty, it doesn't do its job well. It results in your A/C unit working harder, Longer, and your bills being higher! Its super easy to clean.
I did a "big" clean this spring, as I doubt it was ever cleaned before I bought the house.
- Make sure your Thermostat is set to "off" (instead of Heat or Cool)
- Ensure the A/C fuse/breaker is Off on your breaker panel
- Just for safe measure, Most A/C units are required to have a shutoff located outside, near the unit. Pull this.
Now that you're sure the A/C unit won't go on.
Now, Assemble your tools:
- A Garden Hose,
- A wrench or ratchet with socket set (mine was 8mm)
- A shop vac, if needed. (or your good ol' hands)
Remove the 4-8 bolts/screws holding down the top grill. Your fan is probably attached to this.
Flip this grille/fan assembly over to access the very simple innards of your A/C Unit.
Once relatively clean, its time to break out the hose. Use the "jet" setting and blast at the radiator fins dead on, from the INSIDE of the unit. Once you've got it all covered, you can do the same from the outside as well. I don't know if a pressure washer is appropriate here - a regular old hose did fine.
Once done... you're done!
Put the grill/fan assembly back on, don't over tighten the screw/bolts, as they may strip.
plug/switch the circuit breakers back in. You're A/C unit is now Cleaner (and cooler) than ever.
Its hard to see from photos - But when you're looking directly through these fins, you can actually see through them. Before they were all gummed up with stuff.
Now would also be a great time to replace your furnace filter.
You don't have to go all out like this, you will be helping a lot just by hosing off the radiator from the outside!
Time to Chill out!