As we head into the final sweltering days of summer, having a fully functioning and healthy air conditioning unit is vital to the happiness of the household. Needing AC repair can be costly due to the fact that you'll need to call an AC company to restore functionality (not to mention the emotional and physical turmoil that comes from baking in un-air-conditioned rooms for any extended period of time) so doing everything you can to keep your AC unit happy and healthy can make the end of summer a breeze! Here are some basic cleaning and maintenance tips to help you out. Note: always turn your air conditioning unit OFF before you attempt any of these suggestions.
- Remove any debris: You'd be surprised how much stuff can collect in outdoor units after a long summer. Remember those leaves you meant to rake up before the snow fell? Yeah, those are all cluttered around your AC unit, preventing the flow of air from circulating in an efficient matter. It's a good idea to clear as much natural debris off of and out of your unit -- this can also prevent any damage from incurring when you inevitably power up your machine on sweltering days.
- Clean the fins: Be sure to use the utmost care when performing this task as the fins are easily bent and damaged -- you don't want to have to call the professionals for air conditioning repair because of something you did. Remove the outer cover and use a shop vacuum to suction off any dirt that may be attached to the outside. Then, grab a garden hose with a gentle stream to wash the fins, spraying the inside first to push any interior dirt that has built up between the fins outwards.
- Clean the area around the unit: This includes sweeping dirt and debris within two feet of the machine outside of that circle. You may also want to cut back any bushes or vegetation that hang around or near the unit to prevent any further debris from getting inside it. You can even invest in a wooden cover to keep it protected from needing air conditioning repair, especially during the winter months when wind and snow can do a lot of damage.
People who call in professional air conditioning companies to perform routine maintenance end up with AC units that last 40% longer than usual, so it's a smart idea to have them perform a yearly checkup to make sure everything is hunky-dory. And definitely don't hesitate to call in the Big Guys to help with air conditioning repair and cleaning if you're concerned about doing the job yourself; all AC companies will be happy to help.