When Is The Last Time You ‘Took A Look’ At This Minnesota Outdoor Appliance?
If you are a homeowner with central air, you've probably seen a big boxy unit sitting outside your house. If you're a first-time homeowner, you might not realize that it's really important to keep that unit clean so it can operate properly. Not understanding the importance of keeping that unit clear of debris can cost you lots of money in replacement costs and paying for an HVAC individual to come to your home to get your air working again. It's WAY more costly to do this than to just learn how to care for the unit yourself. Let's talk about a few things you need to know, and I've included a video you can watch as well, to make sure your unit is running properly at all times. The video goes into much more detail than just rinsing off your outer unit.
Advice from Meteorologist Cody Matz from Fox 9 KSMP:
- Take a hose and run water down the sides of the condenser unit.
- DON'T use a spray nozzle, as this can damage parts inside your unit.
I went searching for other advice on how to clean your AC unit, and it seems to me that there's more to it than just running a hose down the side of the unit.
HOW TO PROPERLY CLEAN YOUR AC UNIT
- Change your filters regularly. These will be found INSIDE your house. Mine are actually at the bottom of the HVAC system in my basement. I change mine monthly. You can find a variety of filters at varying prices; so read about them and pick the one that works best for your unit. Having clean filters keeps good air flow to your unit. You'll need to find the correct measurements for the proper air filter for your system. They are usually listed in big bold numbers on the side of the filter.
- Check your vents. Make sure that all of your indoor vents in your house aren't blocked, or covered with rugs. If they are dusty and dirty, vacuum or clean them as well. This will help keep your home cooler more efficiently as well.
- OUTSIDE. Find your condenser unit. It's usually a big square metal box, with vented sides.
- Check the lines. You'll find lines running from your home to your condenser unit. Check to see if you need to replace any damaged insulation on these lines.
DEEP CLEAN ONCE A YEAR
Now this is where you may want to get some help before you get started, to make sure you're doing everything correctly. According to the video, deep cleaning your condenser unit should be done at least once a year, so spring would be a good time since you'll be using your ac all summer long, and it's much easier to clean in warm temps than in the winter. I have NEVER done this to this extent, but it might be time for me to get it done.
TURN OFF THE BRAKER. This is usually on the unit or you'll have a breaker box on your house to turn OFF. Definitely know what you are doing here!
REMOVE THE TOP. Follow directions on your unit.
REMOVE DEBRIS INSIDE THE UNIT. You can do this by hand or with a wet/vac. Get rid of all leaves and other debris that have found their way into your unit. You may even find that small animals have made nests inside the unit. Remove anything that isn't supposed to be in the unit.
CHECK THE FINS. The Fins can be damaged as well. Check to make sure they are not damaged, and if they are, you may want to contact a professional to fix this for you. They do make a FIN TOOL that can help you fix small issues.
COIL CLEANER. I had no idea they made a product called 'Coil Cleaner' which you will spray all over the fins inside and let it sit for 10 minutes.
RINSE THE UNIT. Spray the fins from the inside of the unit to push the coil cleaner through the fins to the outside of the unit until it's all clean and clear. NOTE: DO NOT USE A PRESSURE WASHER. Pressure washers can damage the fins. Rinse the unit from the outside.
REPLACE THE TOP.
This is pretty self-explanatory. Fasten the top.
TURN ON THE BRAKER.
Once everything is cleaned, and all put back together, you can do the last step; and that's turning the breaker back on.
To watch step-by-step examples of how to clean your Condenser unit, watch the video below.
Lowes Home Improvement/Youtube