Spring is finally here. We can see green grass and begin to feel the warm breeze through our open windows. Before we know it, summer will be here, and instead of using the furnace to keep our homes warm, we will flip the switch, and use the air conditioning unit to keep our homes cool and comfortable.
“The warm season is almost here. Now is the time to think about spring cleaning your A/C systems,” says David Ariano.
Ariano continues, “Spring cleaning should include more than turning your mattresses and washing windows. To enjoy a comfortable summer in your home, as well as in your wallet, take time to do seasonal maintenance on your air conditioning system.”
Power Down Your HVAC System
As with all electrical appliance maintenance, shut off the power to your air conditioning unit at both the exterior shut-off and at the interior breaker boxes.
Eliminate Debris Around Your A/C Condenser
Remove the top of the A/C cage grill and vacuum out leaves and other debris from inside the air conditioner condenser and compressor unit.
Wash The A/C Condenser Fins
After removing the outer cover, brush away dirt from the air conditioner condenser fins. Then spray the fins, from the inside out, using a garden hose and gently spray to remove dirt between the fins. DO NOT use a pressure washer because it will damage the fins.
Straighten The Air Conditioner Fins
Carefully using a butter knife or other straightening tool, gently straighten bent fins to ensure proper airflow, so your A/C doesn’t have to work as hard.
Clean The Exterior of Your A/C Unit
Replace the cage and clear vegetation within two feet of the unit in all directions to ensure efficient airflow around the air conditioner condenser and compressor.
Make Sure Your Air Conditioning Unit is Level
As the soil beneath the pad supporting the condenser and compressor unit settles, the pad may tip. Level the pad using rot-resistant shims to avoid early unit failure.
Clean Your A/C Evaporator Coil
Locate the evaporator coil inside the blower/furnace unit. Dust the coil and spray with a commercial no-rinse cleaner. After the spray foams and drips into the drain pan, clean the pan with soap, water and a small amount of bleach.
Pour a cup of 50%/50% bleach/water solution down the drain. If the liquid does not drain well, use a shop vacuum to clear any blockages from the drain tube.
Change Your HVAC Filter
Change the blower filter in your HVAC system, replacing the old filter with a new one with the same rating. One-inch thick filters should be changed monthly; thicker filters twice a year.
Turn on the power to the unit.
“So just remember, before you fire up your A/C for use, it’s wise to think about the maintenance of the unit,” advises Ariano. “We don’t want to wait until the dog days of summer to discover our A/C is on the fritz. Following these nine tips, regular maintenance and good service practices pay off, not only for your peace of mind and uninterrupted physical comfort, but also in savings from a system that runs as efficiently as possible, and does not necessitate emergency repairs.”
Your HVAC system may need maintenance beyond your expertise for issues such as refrigerant leaks or the need to clean air ducts to increase airflow efficiency. If that’s the case, be safe and arrange for a professional HVAC service provider to periodically check your system. Sit back and prepare yourself for a beautiful, comfortable summer ahead!
Ravinia Plumbing, Heating & Electric
1580 Old Skokie Valley Rd, Highland Park, IL 60035
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