With summer ending in Rapid City, now is a good time to get a head start on air conditioner maintenance.
If you haven’t taken care of it recently, it could be blocked with dirt and yard refuse. This accumulation can decrease your unit’s efficiency and cause it to malfunction. Or require replacement sooner.
We suggest having your air conditioning system professionally serviced once a year. Why? Clean equipment can be more energy efficient, which could save you money on electric costs.
Consistent AC maintenance also helps our technicians discover and handle small issues before they develop into high-priced problems.
Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner from Failing
Some of the work we complete includes:
- Taking a look at the blower, motor, drain line and coils
- Checking pressure and temperature
- Testing lines, refrigerant amounts and connections
You can still have maintenance done this fall—and we can get your furnace prepped for heating season too.
There’s also some upkeep you can do by yourself between professional tune-ups. It only takes about an hour to clean your outdoor condenser unit, as well as a couple of pieces 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 warm day to clean your air conditioner. At least 60 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) is best. That way, you can test your system once you’ve cleaned it.
You’ll only need a couple 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
Switch off the juice to your air conditioner at the breaker box.
2. Clean the Outside
Take out waste from the unit. This includes branches, bushes, weeds and grass.
Then run the vacuum to slowly clean the metallic fins. These components are also called condenser coils and move heat away from your unit.
You need to be considerate of these delicate coils. Misshapen or crumpled fins can impact efficiency.
3. Fix Bent Fins
Use a butter knife to adjust misshapen fins. You can also buy a fin comb from an appliance part retailer. A pro from Street Heating and Cooling should fix severe damage.
4. Clean the Inside
After extracting the fan, fish out leaves and other yard litter. Then clean the inside of the equipment with a wet cloth.
The only coil cleaner you have to have is water. Use slight pressure from a hose nozzle to wash the fins, directing water from the inside out. Replace the fan once you’re finished.
5. Test Your Air Conditioner
It’s safe to restore power and turn your air conditioner back on. If it’s not running correctly, contact us a call at 605-206-3915.
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 power to your furnace at the breaker box.
2. Check Your Filter
Furnace filters need to be replaced every few months, depending on the model you use.
Can’t remember when you last replaced yours? Remove it and hold it up to the light. If there’s no light visible, get 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 flexible plastic tube. If it’s scummy, you can freshen it by draining diluted bleach through the tube to sanitize the line. Or you can buy a new tube.
Wash the drain port using a small, round paintbrush. Reconnect the drain tube and restore power.
Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner Running Well Through Fall
Never Forget a Tune-Up Again
Annual air conditioner maintenance from Street Heating and Cooling can make your equipment more efficient and help it last longer. We also provide handy service agreements, so you won’t forget to book your routine tune-up!