During the summer months, an AC can start losing efficiency due to the outdoor unit becoming dirty. This can lead to the coil freezing, which causes the AC to blow hot air and can even cause serious damage that may require the help of a professional HVAC technician. Here is how you can clean your outdoor AC unit to help prevent freezing, which can reduce performance and damage your AC:
Step 1: Before You Start Turn Off The Main Power To The HVAC
Before you start cleaning your AC unit, you will want to turn off the main power breaker to the unit. This is usually a power box located near the unit, which you can open and turn the switch to off. If you do not have the main power near the unit, it can be a switch located in your breaker box or near the furnace. It is important to turn the power off to avoid injury and prevent damaging the system.
Step 2: Remove Any Grates Or Covers To Access The Unit And Its Components
You will also want to remove the grates to be able to get to all the components. Remove the grates on the sides and top of the unit. You may also need to remove an access panel to get to the coil and clean it. If you remove any access panels, be careful not to get wiring and electrical parts wet. Basically, you only want to clean the copper coil that is causing the freezing of the unit.
Step 3: Use A Vacuum Or Leaf-Blower To Clean Any Large Debris Inside And Outside The Unit
Once you have access to all the parts you need to clean, use a vacuum or leaf-blower to remove any debris that may have gotten in the unit from trees. A leaf-blower can be good to get leaves and tree debris out, while a vacuum with attachments can be used for getting all the grime in hard-to-get-to places. If you have a wet and dry vacuum, it can be used as a blower by turning the vacuum to the reverse setting.
Step 4: Make A Light Detergent Mixture And Clean Components With A Garden Hose
Cleaning the unit can be a little more delicate process. You will want to use a light detergent mix to clean the unit. Putting it into a pump pressure container, like those used for gardening and spraying pesticides, can make cleaning easier. Spray all the components and rinse them with a garden hose. Use a tooth brush to clean delicate parts that are really dirty.
This is how you can clean your outdoor AC unit to prevent problems with freezing and costly repairs. If the cleaning does not solve the problem, contact anair conditioning service and have them inspect the coil and compressor.