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Sudarsan Chakraborty

How to keep your air-conditioner running smoothly

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If you want to save money on energy and still increase the lifespan of your air-conditioner, then it must be well maintained. The AC needs to operate at the highest efficiency and therefore needs regular attention. The heating, ventilating and air-conditioning system in your house consists of the exterior and the interior unit. Following are the steps to follow when cleaning:

1. Shut the power off

Walking around electricity and the air conditionerís moving parts poses a danger. Therefore, it is advisable that you switch off the whole power system supplying the unit. Near the unit, there is a shut-off box for the exterior condenser. With the indoors, there is a power breaker box where you should turn -off the power.

2. Remove the debris

Use a screwdriver or a wrench to remove the fasteners and then lift the fan grill away from the unit top. Clean the leaves and other debris that has accumulated from the interior compressor. This you can do using your hands and a dry vacuum.

3. Clean the fins

A powerful shop vacuum should be used to clean all the outside dirt after removing the outer covers. Use a gentle stream from a garden hose to spray through the fins to remove any dirt/ debris between them. A pressure washer should never be used to clean these since it can damage the fins. Available on the stores also is a cleaning spray that would also do a thorough job.

4. Straighten the bent fins

Reducing airflow through the fins can reduce the equipment efficiency and therefore the bent fins should be straightened carefully using a butter knife or a fin-straightening tool available commercially. There is a tubing embedded within the fins and therefore one must be gentle to avoid damaging them.

5. Clean the area around the unit

A lot of the dirt that comes into the unit is from the surrounding environment. Any trees around should be trimmed leaving a distance of at least 2 feet from the unit and this would ensure proper airflow around the unit. When the unit is not in use especially during winter, have the unit covered on to using some material that would keep off debris and any other dirt from filling up.

6. Change the blower filter

The HVAC system filter should be changed at least twice in a year before the beginning and the heating season. During the dusty season, you must ensure that cleaning and replacement of the filter is done more often. Here you will need the services of an air conditioner cleaning company.

The above are just a few basic DIY steps to cleaning the AC unit. However, this rather complicated system needs an experienced air conditioner cleaning service provider, someone who will identify some mechanical faults, which may lead to a major system breakdown. You could be a savvy homeowner but it is necessary to seek the help of a technician.

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