Scheduling regular maintenance can aid in extending the life of your air conditioning and heating equipment. Routine cleaning also goes a long way toward improving the performance of the system. One component that often tends to be overlooked, however, is the outdoor AC unit.

outdoor HVAC equipment

Read on for tips on how to clean your outdoor AC unit.

Get rid of debris. Significant energy loss can occur with a debris-clogged air conditioner. Before you start cleaning debris out of your outdoor AC unit, be sure to turn the power off at the breaker box. Remove the fasteners on the cage using a screwdriver or wrench, then lift it off the unit. Using a vacuum or your hands, remove leaves and any other debris from the equipment.

Clean the fins. Never use a pressure washer for cleaning your outdoor AC unit. Instead, get a garden hose and spray through the fins from the inside to loosen up dirt and debris buildup. If the fins are extremely dirty, it’s best to seek assistance from your local HVAC contractor.

Clean around the unit. Anything flammable should be kept at least three feet away from the outdoor unit. Remove leaves and debris with a rake, trim down plants and trim back branches near the equipment. Doing so will help improve airflow around the unit.

Level the unit and clean the evaporator coil. Check to make sure your unit is level, because the pad beneath it tends to tip as the soil settles over time. Inside, locate the evaporator coil door and dust off the coil with a soft brush. You can spray it with a no-rinse coil cleaner unless the manufacturer suggests otherwise.

Clean clogged drains and replace the filter. Algae and mold can settle in the drains and clog them up. They’ll need to be unclogged if the water is flowing from them slowly or not at all. After you find the drain, use a vacuum to clear it. Make sure to remove the paper filter from the vacuum to avoid damaging it. Lastly, replace the air filter in your HVAC unit, then turn the unit back on.

Turn to Climate Systems Heating and Air Conditioning for all your HVAC maintenance needs. Give us a call at (724) 935-3900 or fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment.

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