Don’t let the heat get to you when the temperature is rising. It’s not something you want to do on a hot summer day. This can happen if your central air conditioner isn’t maintained annually before the summer hits. Central Tennessee’s Spring is the best time to prepare your air conditioner for summer.
An indoor air handler and outdoor compressor are used to create a central air conditioner. The condenser unit can be found outdoors. This is the part of your air conditioner unit you will need to clean and maintain. The cold winter months have seen your air conditioner sit idle collecting leaves and other debris. Your AC unit will be ready to cool your home this summer by cleaning and replacing the filters.
In 6 easy steps, you can get your air conditioner ready to go for summer.
1. Safety First
Before you start working on your air conditioner system, turn off the circuit breaker. Before you start working on your air conditioner unit, make sure that the power supply to the condenser at its service panel is turned off. A 240-volt weatherproof disconnect box is usually located next to the condenser. It contains a switch, fuses or a circuit breaker to turn off the condenser. This should also be turned off.
2. Clean the filters or replace them
If your furnace or air-handler filters become clogged, clean them or replace them. At least once a year. These filters can block airflow and decrease the efficiency of your air conditioner unit. Dust filters can also be used to recirculate dust throughout your home.
3. Clean the Condenser Coils of the Air Conditioner
Clear your central air conditioner’s fan and condenser coils of dust. The central air conditioner’s fan is usually located outside. It’s a fan-shaped metal box that looks like a grille. Cover your condenser unit if it was not covered in winter. If it was covered during the winter, you won’t have much debris to clean up. You’ll need to remove more leaves, yard debris, and dirt if it wasn’t covered. You should ensure that the fan is clean and free of any debris. Next, inspect the inside of the box. Air moves across radiator-style condenser coils. You should check to make sure that no debris has built up on the coils. These coils must be cleaned to ensure that your condenser unit operates at its best efficiency.
Clean the coils
- Take out the protective grilles or top panels from the condenser units. Note: Double-check to ensure that the power is off to the condenser units.
- Take off the top. It may be heavy because the fan is attached to it. Do not pull on any wires that are connected to the fan.
- Use a toothbrush on a vacuum or a refrigerator coil brush to gently clean the coils. Clean the coils from the outside. Important: Do not bend or damage delicate coils.
4. Clear and clean debris
Clear away all debris and leaves from the base of your condenser. Clear any drains on your air conditioner unit. Use a vacuum cleaner or a rag to clean the fan blades of your blower. Any excess water from the unit should be removed. After everything has been cleaned and dried, you can reassemble your condenser.
5. Check out the Coolant Lines
Your air conditioner’s refrigerant tube or pipe runs from the evaporator on your air handler to the condenser outdoors. These lines are typically covered with insulation made of foam coolant. You should inspect the insulation for fraying or missing areas. You can replace the insulation with foam insulation sleeves or wrap it in a spiral with foam insulation tape.
6. The Unit can be tested
After drying the unit thoroughly, test your air conditioner unit. Turn the power off to your condenser:
- Turn your thermostat to off in your home.
- Turn on power at the main panel and the disconnect box.
- Turn the thermostat down to cool.
Note: The furnace blower or air handler blows the chilled and dehumidified resulting air through the ductwork to the rooms. It is not possible to repair your central air conditioner’s sealed refrigerator system by yourself. These repairs should be done by an HVAC professional. However, you can do some cleaning and maintenance tasks yourself to make sure your HVAC system runs efficiently and reduce the need to hire professionals. These tasks are listed below.