Central Air Conditioning

Exterior Evaporator Unit

Turn off the electrical power to the outside condenser/compressor unit.

Cut weeds, grass and bushes within 24 inches of your condenser unit.  Vacuum the fins on the exterior of the condenser unit with a soft brush. Vacuum around the entire unit to remove any leaves and other debris that has built up in or around the fins.  Using a dinner knife or a specialized fin comb to gently apply pressure to damaged or bent fins and straighten them out. Don’t insert the knife more than a half inch into the fins or you risk damaging the coils inside.  Remove the fan from the top of your condenser/compressor unit by unscrewing the top grille. Lift the fan out and manually remove any leaves or debris that have collected inside the unit.  A vacuum might be the easiest option, but use extreme caution to NOT damage any of the components with the steel vacuum wand.  Wipe down the inside of the unit with a damp cloth. Use a garden hose to spray the fins from the inside out, using a fair amount of water pressure. Place the fan back in the unit and fasten the screws to secure the top.  Turn the power back on and set your indoor thermostat to “Cool” to allow the compressor unit to cycle on.

Interior Evaporator Unit

Turn off the power to your furnace before you start cleaning the indoor evaporator unit.

Open the main blower compartment of your furnace and remove the filter. If it’s disposable, replace it with a new one. If it’s reusable, place it in a tub and cover it with water and add a little laundry detergent to create some suds and let it soak for about 15 minutes. Rinse with a shower head from both sides and allow to air dry before re-installing the filter back in the furnace unit.  Use a vacuum with a soft brush attachment to suck up any dust in the blower compartment. If the motor has lubrication ports, add a few drops of electric motor oil into each port to keep them running smoothly.  Locate the plastic condensation drain tube and pull it off the drain port. If there is algae growth inside, mix one part bleach and 16 parts water into a solution and pour it into the tube. If flushing doesn’t remove the dirt, replace the tube.  Clean grime and dirt out of the drain port with a pipe cleaner. Put the drain tube back onto the port and turn your main power switch back on.  Give yourself about a half day to clean your air conditioning unit if you’re doing it for the first time.  Try to clean your air conditioning unit when the temperature is about 60 degrees Fahrenheit so you can be certain it will cycle on once the cleaning is complete.  Consult your owner’s manual for any special cleaning instructions that apply to your unit.

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