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How to Clean an Air Conditioner

How to Clean an Air Conditioner

Clean the Indoor Unit of a Central Air Conditioner

1.Replace the air filter. Purchase a new air conditioner filter at your local home improvement store. Consult your owner’s manual for the correct size, or take your old filter to the store with you.

2.Turn off the power to your furnace or blower. If you can’t find the shutoff switch on the unit, then turn it off at the main panel.

Replace the filter.

3.Open the blower compartment. Vacuum up any visible dust and debris. If your motor has lubrication ports, squeeze 5 drops of oil that is specifically formulated for electric motors into the ports. Avoid penetrating or all-purpose oil (such as WD-40).

If you’re unsure about the lubrication ports, check your owner’s manual.

4.Check for algae. Remove the plastic condensation tube and check for algae growth. If the tube is clogged, you can either replace it or pour a solution of 1 part bleach to 16 parts water into the tube through a funnel.

5.Clean the drain tube. Use a pipe cleaner or a small bristled brush.

6.Restart your unit. Hook the drain line back up and restore the power.


Clean the Outdoor Unit of a Central Air Conditioner

1.Shut down the power. Turn off the 240-volt power to the air conditioner at the shutoff box on the exterior of your house.

You will either have to pull out the shutoff, pull down a handle or remove the fuse. If you don’t see a shutoff box, then turn off the circuit breaker that powers the A/C.

2.Vacuum the condenser fins. Use a vacuum with a soft bristle-brush attachment. You may have to unscrew a protective metal case to access the fins.

Check for grass, weeds, leaves and other debris that may block airflow. Trim any foliage to leave about 2 feet (61 cm) of space around the outdoor unit.

Be careful not to damage the fins as you vacuum. They can bend easily. If necessary, straighten your fins with a dinner knife or a fin comb.

3.Unscrew the grille on top of the air conditioner. The fan usually lifts out with the grille, so support the fan carefully as you lift so that you don’t damage the electrical connections.

Wipe the fan clean with a damp cloth.

4.Check to see if your fan has lubrication ports. Most fans won’t, but if yours do, then apply 5 drops of oil made specifically for electric motors. Avoid penetrating or all-purpose oil (such as WD-40).

5.Lower a water hose into the empty unit. Using moderate water pressure, spray the fins from the inside out.

6.Re-assemble the unit. Return the fan and grille to their original positions and screw them back to the unit.

7.Disable the A/C. Go inside your house and turn your indoor thermostat from “Cool” to “Off.”

8.Restore the power. Allow your A/C to sit idle for 24 hours.

9.Restart the A/C. Switch the thermostat back to “Cool” and set the temperature of the unit so that it kicks on. Wait 10 minutes.

10.Check for proper operation. Pull back the insulation on the pipes that come out of the base of the air compressor. One pipe should feel cold, while the other should feel warm. If the temperatures of these pipes are off, then you need your coolant levels adjusted by a professional.


Clean a Room Air Conditioner

1.Power down. Unplug your room air conditioner, or turn off the breaker to that circuit.

2.lean the output. Remove the rear exhaust panel and with a soft-bristled vacuum, clean the fins and coils.

3.Check for drainage problems. Check the drain channels at the bottom of the air conditioner for clogs.

Clean out any clogs with a pipe cleaner or a small bristled brush.

4.Clean the filter. Remove the front grille from the air conditioning unit. Take out the filter and clean it either by vacuuming it or rinsing it with warm, sudsy water.

Make sure the filter is dry before you put it back into the unit.

5.Dust the grille and the vents. When your room air conditioner is clean, you can restore the power.

When cleaning any air conditioner, keep in mind that you are dealing with the air you breathe. For that reason, you should avoid using any toxic cleaners that contain ammonia, chlorine bleach or other chemicals that can damage your lungs or otherwise jeopardize your health. Instead, you may want to try using safe, effective, and eco-friendly Melaleuca cleaning products. They contain no harsh chemicals and are safe for people and pets. You can find these cleaning products online at Melaleuca.com.

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