Welcome, and thank you for taking the time to read this article about how to clean your outside AC unit. As the weather starts to warm up, it's essential to ensure that your AC unit is functioning correctly, and one of the best ways to do that is to clean it. Not only does cleaning your AC unit help to keep it working efficiently, but it also helps to prolong its lifespan. In this article, we'll take you through the steps you need to follow when cleaning your outside AC unit.
Why Clean Your Outside AC Unit?
Before we dive into the steps on how to clean your outside AC unit, let's first understand why it's essential to do so. Your AC unit is exposed to various weather elements, including dust, dirt, and debris, which can clog the unit's coils and reduce its efficiency. A dirty AC unit can also cause your energy bills to skyrocket, as it will have to work harder to cool your home. Additionally, a dirty AC unit can lead to costly repairs or even a complete breakdown. Therefore, cleaning your AC unit is a crucial maintenance task that should not be overlooked.
What You Need to Clean Your Outside AC Unit
Before we get started, let's first gather the essential tools and materials you'll need to clean your AC unit. These include:
|Tools and Materials||Description|
|Gloves||To protect your hands from dirt and debris|
|Screwdriver||To remove the unit's access panel|
|Water hose||To clean the unit's coils and fins|
|Fin comb||To straighten any bent fins on the unit|
|Cleaning solution||A mild detergent mixed with water|
Steps to Clean Your Outside AC Unit
Now that we have all the necessary tools and materials let's follow these simple steps to clean your outside AC unit:
Step 1: Turn Off the Power
The first step before cleaning your outside AC unit is to turn off the power. You can do this by switching off the power at the unit's shut-off box, which is usually located near the unit or on the side of your house.
Step 2: Remove the Access Panel
Next, remove the access panel on the unit's exterior. You can use a screwdriver to remove the screws holding the panel in place. Once you remove the panel, you'll have access to the unit's interior.
Step 3: Clean the Fins
With the access panel removed, use a water hose to clean the fins thoroughly. Spray the water at a 45-degree angle to avoid bending the fins. Start from the inside and work your way out. Be sure to remove any debris or dirt that may have accumulated on the fins.
Step 4: Straighten Bent Fins
If you notice any bent fins, use a fin comb to straighten them out. A fin comb is a tool specifically designed to straighten the fins on an AC unit. Be gentle when using the fin comb to avoid damaging the fins.
Step 5: Clean the Coils
Cleaning the coils is the most critical part of cleaning your AC unit. You can use a mild detergent mixed with water to clean the coils. Apply the cleaning solution to the coils and let it sit for a few minutes to loosen any dirt or debris. Rinse the coils with a water hose until all the cleaning solution is removed.
Step 6: Clean the Surrounding Area
After you've cleaned the AC unit, it's essential to clean the surrounding area. Remove any debris or dirt around the unit to prevent it from getting sucked into the unit and clogging the coils and fins.
Step 7: Replace the Access Panel
Once you've finished cleaning the AC unit and the surrounding area, replace the access panel and secure it with screws.
Step 8: Turn the Power Back On
Finally, turn the power back on by switching on the power at the unit's shut-off box.
- Q: How often should I clean my outside AC unit?
- Q: Can I use a pressure washer to clean my AC unit?
- Q: Can I clean my AC unit myself?
A: It's recommended to clean your AC unit at least once a year or more frequently if you live in an area with a lot of dirt or debris.
A: No, you should never use a pressure washer to clean your AC unit as it can damage the unit's coils and fins.
A: Yes, you can clean your AC unit yourself as long as you follow the proper steps and have the necessary tools and materials.
The Bottom Line
Cleaning your outside AC unit is an essential maintenance task that you should not overlook. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can ensure that your AC unit is working efficiently and prolong its lifespan. Remember to turn off the power before cleaning the unit, use gentle cleaning tools, and clean the surrounding area. If you have any concerns about cleaning your AC unit, consider consulting a professional HVAC technician.