After the long, cold winter, spring is finally here! As the days get longer and the temperature rises, you’re probably excited to take a walk in the park or through the countryside, immersing yourself in the warm, fresh air and enjoying the blossom of the wildflowers. You might have turned off your heater and packed it away, but now is the perfect time to get your air conditioner ready for summer.
Although summer is still a few months away, you don’t want to find your air conditioner not cooling when those hot sweaty days arrive. Keeping your air conditioner in tip-top shape can be as easy as cleaning it once or twice a year. You may wonder where to start. Don’t worry, the tips below will show you how.
4 Easy Steps to Clean Your Air Conditioner
Remember to remove the power plug before cleaning!
1. Clean the filters
Take out the filters from the unit and wash them in soapy water. To avoid damage, don’t use water above 120℉, and don’t dry the filter directly under sunlight or with a dryer - just put it in a shady spot to air dry slowly.
2. Clean the coils
Once you remove the filters, you may find there’s even more dust built up inside the unit. If so, it’s time for a deeper cleaning of the coils. Use a soft brush or a vacuum to clean out the dust. Always check your AC manual or ask a professional for help if you have any questions about cleaning this part.
3. Wipe the exterior
While you wait for the filters and coils to dry thoroughly, take the time to clean the exterior of your AC unit with a damp cloth. It’s probably the easiest step to make your air conditioner look as good as new.
4. Test the air conditioner
After you finish cleaning and reassembling your AC unit, turn it on to run a few tests. Set the unit to the lowest temperature, test each level of wind speed, and check if there’s any unusual noise.
Don’t Forget to Check Your AC Accessories
No matter which type, most air conditioners require some accessories for better performance. These accessories can wear out and need regular check ups too.
Portable Air Conditioner
1. Is your exhaust hose damaged?
After long usage, your exhaust hose can deteriorate, causing exhaust leaks. Put your hand near the hose to feel if there's air leak during the test run, if so, you need to replace it with a new exhaust hose.
2. Does your window seal kit seal the window tight?
A loose window seal kit can lower the efficiency of your portable AC by allowing hot air into the room, which can cause high utility bills. Check to see if air leaks through the seal kit. If so, replace it with a new window seal kit.
Window Air Conditioner
1. Does your security bar lock the window tight?
As the window opens constantly, there’s an obvious security concern with the window AC - burglars can easily get into your house through the window. This is especially true for those who live at the ground or second floor. So, remember to check if your security bar still works well.
2. Do you use brackets for better support?
If your window AC weighs more than 100 pounds, you should use a bracket to provide additional support. Also, some places (e.g. New York City) require you to install window AC support brackets by law. A support bracket can not only prevent your unit falling out of the window, but also protect your window frame by sharing the heavy weight.
Mini-Split Air Conditioner
1. Is your outdoor unit supported by brackets?
If you live at the ground floor, placing your outdoor unit on the ground seems like a convenient choice, but it will lead to damage in the long term, as the accumulation of dirt and debris will corrode the coils. To better protect your outdoor unit, you can use these wall-mounting brackets to keep it off the ground.
2. Are your air conditioner lines protected by line covers?
Line set covers can help extend the lifespan of your mini-split lines by keeping them away from damage. For indoor usage, line covers keep the pipes and cords organized so you don’t have a mess of cables running down your wall. When used outdoors, they protect the lines from direct exposure to sunlight and rain.
So, take a sunny weekend to clean your air conditioner and check if you need to replace or add any accessories. Then, you can wait for summer at ease.