A central air conditioning service is made out of two units, the evaporator, which is located in your home usually near the furnace, and the condenser, which is located outside. It works to pull in air from outside and cool it before pumping it throughout your house, cooling it down in the summer months.
You should regular clean your air conditioner to ensure that it stays in the best condition possible, which extends its lifespan and improves its efficiency:
How to Maintain the Condenser
The condenser is located outside your home, and can be more easily clogged than the evaporator as it is exposed to outside debris.
- Check to make sure that no debris, like leaves or branches, are blocking the grill on top of the condenser. This can block the air intake, and force the air conditioner to work harder, which can cause damage to your system.
- Use a fine brush to clean the blades of the fan. You may have to use a screwdriver to remove the grill to properly reach the blades. Don't use any chemicals or water, as this can cause damage to your system and even get into the airflow inside your home.
- You can use a special coil cleaner, however, which is available at most hardware stores, in order to clean off any stuck on debris or residue. Be sure to follow all the instructions on the bottle to the letter to ensure that you do not damage your system.
How to Maintain the Evaporator
The evaporator is located inside your home, usually next to or above the furnace. As such, it is less likely to become dirty or blocked, as it is not exposed to outside elements. Cleaning the evaporator is simply removing dust from the system.
- Remove the foil covering over the entrance to the air duct and lay it to the side. This covering is usually held in place with duct tape, and can be easily removed and replaced. Use fresh tape every time that you remove the covering to ensure a complete seal of the system.
- Use a brush or duster to clean inside the duct, sweeping towards you to prevent any dust or dirt from being pushed further back into the system.
- Remove the drip tray that is located under the evaporator and dump out any water that may have built up. This is a normal part of your air conditioner, and develops due to condensation.