Cleaning Air Conditioning Equipment

by Emily McBride
(last updated February 6, 2017)

Cleaning your air conditioning equipment is an easy chore to forget, but it is a chore that is well worth the time. Dust and other particles collect and build up in the equipment, which can make your air conditioning not work as well because it is clogged. Your air ducts should be clean so that they do not disperse the dust and debris, and even mold, throughout the air, and consequently, into your lungs. Cleaning your air conditioning equipment once a year can make your air conditioning more efficient—both by keeping you cooler and costing less. It may even help your air conditioning unit to live longer!

First, it is good to know the definitions of the parts of your air conditioning unit. A central air conditioning unit is usually made up of the compressor/condenser (outside) and an evaporator (inside). Air ducts are sheets of metal or metal tubes that carry the air throughout your house. You should only attempt to do basic cleaning—all other maintenance should be done by a professional.

Check your manufacturer's instruction manuals before attempting to clean any of your air conditioning equipment. Before you start any cleaning, make sure that all of the power to all parts of the air conditioning equipment is off. The most important part to clean is the coil found in the outside compressor/condenser. Since the compressor is outside, it makes sense that dust, dirt, grass, leaves, and other debris easily make it into the unit. Just simply pull this debris from the coil. If you find any leaks while you are cleaning, be sure to call a professional.

The coil of the evaporator inside is also an important part to clean. If you can get to it, use a soft vacuum brush to suck up some of the dust and dirt. If you cannot get to it, then call a professional. Also make sure that the condensation tube (the tube connected to the coil) is not full of algae or sludge. Again, call a professional if you cannot do this easily.

Although some of the steps are tricky, it is important to clean your air conditioning equipment. This can help you to have better health, stay cooler, and save money. Always remember to call a professional if you are not sure how to do something—you do not want to completely ruin your air conditioning equipment in an attempt to clean it!

Author Bio

Emily McBride

A senior majoring in English and editing at BYU, Emily hopes to enter the field of professional editing upon graduation. Emily has done humanitarian work in Africa and studied in London. She enjoys blogging, foreign films, and playing the piano. ...


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