A lot of bad things can happen if you fail to clean and maintain your air conditioning system regularly. Especially if you are living on the Sunshine Coast, where the climate is warm year round. Having the most powerful air conditioner isn’t enough to protect your home and family from the threats of heat for a long time – you should also invest in its upkeep if you want it to last for as long as possible.
What happens if you don’t clean your air conditioner?
The obvious answer is it will get dirty, but what happens when it stays dirty will have you riled to spruce it up on the double. Here are some of the consequences of not cleaning your air conditioner on a regular basis.
- It affects your family’s health
Let me guess, one of the reasons why you decided to install an air conditioner, apart from wanting to make your home more comfortable to live in, is because you want to improve the quality of your indoor air. Meaning, you want to eliminate contaminants that could cause allergies and respiratory illnesses in your home.
Unfortunately, your air conditioner may end up doing the opposite if you don’t get rid of the dust and grime that collects on its filter.
It increases your energy consumption
Do you notice your electricity bill rising every month even if there are no significant changes in your consumption? That’s most likely due to the decreasing efficiency of your air conditioner. As dust builds up on its filter, cool air is blocked from being released into the duct and out through the vents. In effect, your air conditioner needs to run harder and longer to meet the cooling needs of your home.
It reduces your home’s comfort level
You want your home to feel comfortable even if the temperature outside is scorching high, and your air conditioner is the one that makes it possible. If it’s choking with dust, it won’t be able to convert enough warm and dusty air into cool and clean air, thus making your home feel rather unpleasant.
How to Properly Clean Your Air Conditioner
The tasks involved in cleaning your air conditioner are pretty basic. However, you have to be careful with the tools and agents you will use and the areas you will use them on. Keep in mind that all of the components of your air conditioner are essential to its operation, so breaking one during clean-up might affect the unit’s future performance.
Also, the procedure may also differ according to the type of air conditioning system you have. Knowing what to use to clean air conditioner coils and other essential components of your air conditioner will ensure your success. Here’s a standard cleaning procedure you can follow for each type of air conditioner:
- A ducted air conditioning system has three major components – the indoor unit, the outdoor unit, and the ductwork. All of these components need to be tidied up to improve your unit’s overall performance. You may start with any of them but a good strategy is to start from the most intricate part and finish up with the easiest.
The indoor unit is perhaps the most difficult to clean because it has several major components that you will need to remove and clean individually, so you may want to start from here. Power down and unscrew the return air grille frame to access the filter. Check how dirty the filter is and decide whether to replace it or not. The rule of thumb is to replace it at least every three months.
- Open the blower compartment and vacuum up all dust and debris you can find. Look for the lubrication ports and squeeze on five drops of oil to allow the motor to loosen up. If you suspect algae growth in the condensation tube, take it apart and clean it with water-bleach solution until the algae is completely washed off.
- The outdoor unit can be cleaned simply by vacuuming all areas where dust and grime may fit and collect, particularly the condenser fins located at the upper portion of the unit. For best results, unscrew the case so you can better access the fins, but be careful not to damage the fins as you vacuum. You have to clean the coils, too, because they are most vulnerable to dust and grime build-up. What do you use to clean air conditioner coils? Well, that depends on the type of air conditioner you have and the sensitivity of its coils to certain cleaning agents.
- After you finish cleaning the indoor and outdoor units, it’s time to deal with the duct system. Normally, these are cleaned by simply vacuuming through the vents, but that would depend on how accessible some parts of the duct system are through the vents. Sometimes, you need to bring in the big guns just to make sure all areas of the duct will be covered.
- Cleaning a split system air conditioner is very much similar to cleaning a ducted system but without the ducts. There’s also a filter you need to wash or replace, a drain pan you need to empty and dry, and coils you need to comb and vacuum. Speaking of coils, it’s important to note that unlike other components of an air conditioner, it’s too delicate and therefore requires a special method of cleaning. You need to know exactly what to clean air conditioner coils with to achieve the result you want.
- Remove the cover of your air conditioner to reveal some of its major components, including the coil. Then pull the fan and other water-sensitive parts from the unit before starting to clean the coils. Pour a water-bleach mixture into the drain line to free it of any dust or algae debris then spray the coil with water using a garden hose. It’s important that you use a garden hose instead of a power washer to avoid damaging the coil.
In case you are not confident in your knowledge and skill in cleaning an air conditioner, leave it to the experts like Port City Air. We will not just clean your unit, but we will also assess its condition and provide recommendations that can help you keep your home safe and comfortable all year round. If you are looking to replace your current unit, we can help you with that as well since we are the leading providers of energy-efficient split system air conditioner and ducted air conditioning system on the Sunshine Coast.
Contact us today for all of your maintenance, repair and installation needs.