Cleaning Your AC Unit

cleaning ac unit

Cleaning Your Outdoor AC Unit

Recently, we had a customer call us at Bunn’s and Bennett with a complaint that their AC unit was not cooling properly. Fortunately for our client, all the system needed was a simple cleaning. The before and after pictures below tell the complete story.

Properly cleaning your air conditioner outdoor unit extends its life and minimizes maintenance issues. A clean air conditioner also cools the air more efficiently and can reduce energy consumption by as much as much as 15%, according to a recent study done at Cornell University. Most outdoor units are easily accessible, which allows homeowners to perform maintenance themselves. Units perform best when cleaned twice annually– once at the beginning and again at the end of the summer cooling season.

Steps To Clean Your Outdoor AC Unit

  1. Locate and remove the air conditioner filter. Filter locations vary depending on your air conditioner, but they are usually found along the air conditioner return duct. If the filter is not located within the air conditioner unit, look for an access panel on the interior or exterior of your home near the air conditioner location.
  2. Wash reusable filters outdoors. Rinse them with a sharp spray of water from a garden hose to remove the dust and debris in the filter. Dispose of cardboard and fiber filters and replace with a new filter, since these are not reusable like the metal and plastic variety.
  3. Turn off the power to the air conditioner unit. Usually this requires flipping the breaker switch assigned to the unit since most units don’t have a separate on/off switch.
  4. Remove the top access panel on the unit. This is the panel with the vent openings. Locate the screws holding it in place and remove them with a screwdriver. Set the panel aside carefully without damaging the attached fan or fan wires.
  5. Examine the condenser coils on the inside of the unit for dirt, debris and dust. Vacuum the debris from the coils using a shop vacuum, taking care not to bend the fins and coils. Rinse the coils with water from the garden hose after vacuuming.
  6. Wipe the fan blades clean with a wet rag. Clear any debris from the fan vents in the panel.
  7. Replace the panel on the unit and screw it in place. Turn the power back on to the unit.

If you find the thought of taking your AC Unit apart unnerving, don’t worry! At Bunn’s & Bennett Heating & Air Conditioning, we’ve got you covered. The Bunn’s and Bennett’s HVAC Service Program ® is designed to provide you peace of mind and keep your HVAC system maintained and operating properly with two annual visits for cleaning and system maintenance. It’s so unique that we’ve trademarked our plan!

Bi-annual system maintenance is so important! We’ve seen so many AC units that are clogged and running much less efficiently than they could be; just take a look at this example:

Dirty Coil 5-15
Before: Coils caked with dirt & debris
Cleaned Coil 5-15
After: Coils clean & ready to run efficiently

Bunn’s and Bennett is a certified HVAC dealer, serving the Huntsville, AL and Tennessee Valley area for more than 30 years. Please feel free to call us for any of your HVAC needs today at 256-536-0967.

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