Do You Need to Clean Your A/C Unit?


Summer is right around the corner, and you know what that means. Get ready to spend your days out by the pool, heading to the beach, and stocking up on a bunch of hot new swimsuits.

But, it’s not always going to be fun in the sun. Sometimes, summer is about staying inside all day just because you can and taking things slow. Make sure your A/C is prepared to keep you cool on days like that.

Actually, double check it’s ready to run all summer long no matter what your plans are! If you don’t know if it’s time for a cleaning or how to even go about cleaning your A/C units, here’s the guide you need to read right now.

How to Tell When A/C Units Need Cleaning

The incoming of summer is a good reminder to take care of your A/C units. It’s kind of like spring cleaning but more in-depth. However, your unit’s cleaning may be long overdue if you’ve been neglecting it, regardless of what time of year it is.

Not to mention, there are benefits to having clean A/C, which you can learn more about. In the meantime, look out for the following signs if you’re wondering whether or not you’ve put off A/C maintenance for too long.

There’s Loud Noise Coming from the Unit

Sometimes, something just sounds wrong, and that’s because it is. If it sounds like your A/C is straining to produce air or to keep your home at your desired temperature, you have a problem that needs attention right away.

Loud noise can be a sign of a clogged filter, a damaged part, or something stuck somewhere in the unit. It’s your signal to get in there and figure things out.

The Fans Turn On and Off All the Time

Loud noise is the ultimate red flag of an A/C unit gone wrong. Before units get to that stage, though, their fans will start having problems.

You’ll hear a fan turning on and off over and over if there is too much dust in the unit. This may also happen as a result of a damaged part.

There’s Dust in the Air

There’s the matter of having dust stuck in a unit, and then there’s dust in the air. This is not only harmful to the state of your A/C, but it’s dangerous for you – especially if you have allergies or other sensitivities.

The second you start seeing dust floating around is the moment you need to take action to fix your air conditioner. The longer you put this off, the more serious the issues become.

The Air Conditioner Has Stopped Working

Speaking of issues getting more serious, keep in mind that it is possible for your air conditioner to stop working altogether. You’re really going to need that pool day if your air gets to this point.

On second thought, you’ll have to cancel all your plans and focus on getting this fixed before doing anything else. Sounds like a major bummer, right? It is.

Don’t let your A/C get to this point by doing the steps below to clean your unit.

The Right Way to Clean Your A/C Unit

Once you’ve figured out it’s time to clean your A/C unit, you should probably look into how to go about that. Don’t worry, everything you need to know is right here.

Remember to turn the power off first!

Take the Filter Out

Let the A/C unit cool down a bit once the power has been turned off. Then, go in and take the filter out. Do this for all of the wall units you have inside the house or go outside and remove the outer grille from your large unit.

For wall units, you can either spray down the filter you already have or install a new one. Most of the time, a good clean will do. If it looks like the filter has run its course, though, go ahead and get yourself a new one.

For outdoor units, use a brush to clear away any dirt, debris, or small leaves that have gotten on the grille. Take this time to clear the area surrounding the unit, too.

Vacuum the Coils

The next thing to do is to vacuum the coils. Be gentle as you do so.

If the debris is really stuck on there, purchase a special coil cleaning spray from your local home supply store and try again. This is strong enough to get the job done without damaging your unit.

Hose Down Your Outdoor Unit

After you get all the coils clean and the filter taken care of, there’s one more thing to do before you can move on from cleaning. Hose down your unit. This only applies to outdoor A/C units, and it absolutely has to be done from the inside out.

In other words, make sure the water is pointing away from the center of the unit. This allows you to push any remaining dirt out instead of jamming it further in.

Plus, you’ll do more harm than good getting so much water inside of your unit. Always point out to prevent this.

Lubricate the Unit

The last step to wrap up your A/C maintenance process is to lubricate. This goes for outdoor units and indoor wall A/C systems, too. A little bit of lubrication can go a long way.

It helps keep all the parts of the A/C running smoothly until the next time you need to clean. Hopefully, you’ll be more aware of when that is now that you’ve read this guide.

Cleaning Your A/C, Maintaining Your Car, and More

Taking care of your A/C and other things around the house may sound completely foreign to you at first. It’s hard to do these things alone if you’ve never done them before, but they’re definitely not impossible.

Who knows, once you’ve finished working on the air you may want to take on everything from the link under the kitchen sink to the car in the driveway! For auto maintenance tips to help you with the latter, click here.

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