Cleaning Air Conditioners

by Karen Bates
(last updated April 29, 2013)

During the hot months, your air conditioner works hard so you and your family can stay cool. Unfortunately, the favor is not always returned. Many air conditioning units are not properly maintained, which can lead to other problems later on.

It is always a good idea to clean your air conditioner regularly. While one cleaning a year should be sufficient, if the unit is used heavily then it might need more attention. Filters may need changing more often during the hot months since you will be using the unit more often.

There are two basic types of air conditioners: window units and central air conditioners. A window air conditioner is generally used to cool a single room or area, while the central air conditioner works to chill the entire home. Both kinds of air conditioners need to be properly cared for. A clean air conditioner is not only more efficient, it is also safer to operate. To ensure that your air conditioning unit is clean and ready to use, there are a few instructions you'll need to follow.

To clean a central air conditioner:

  1. Power. Turn the power off on the air conditioning unit. Start by cleaning the outdoor part of the air conditioner. The fan will need to be cleaned of any debris that may be sticking to it. Wipe off the coils and the interior of the air conditioner.
  2. Inside. Look inside the air conditioner. Check for any potential problems like leaks. Make sure that if anything seems wrong, you contact a professional to have it fixed.
  3. Lubricate. If any parts of the motor need lubricating, use a few drops of oil to do the job.
  4. Filters. Clean or replace filters that are dirty. This may need to be done often during times of heavy use.

To clean a window air conditioning unit:

  1. Power. First, unplug the unit. If it is light enough to remove from the window easily, you can take it out to clean it.
  2. Face plate. Remove the faceplate and wash it, either by wiping it off or rinsing it with water.
  3. Filter. Take out the filter. Thoroughly clean it with water. This is the most important step, since a clogged and dirty filter will prevent your air conditioner from doing its job. If the filter is too dirty, you might need to replace it.
  4. Fans and coils. Clean the fan and coils with water to remove dirt or residue. Use a scrub brush on the coils if needed.
  5. Dry. Once everything is clean, let the unit dry completely before replacing the faceplate and using again.

With regular cleaning, your air conditioner should be able to work at its best and keep your home cool and comfortable.

Author Bio

Karen Bates

An English student who enjoys writing and art, Karen has had her poetry published in her university's literary journal and has several novels in the works. ...

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