For anyone who has gone to a movie theater on a hot summer day, the relief of a quality air conditioner is refreshingly familiar. It is easy to get this same feeling at home by ensuring your air conditioner is always running as best it can.
For central air units, the majority of components are not readily accessible. At the start of each cooling season, have your central AC units looked at by professionals. If anyone is going to catch a problem with your condenser coil, it’s them. You, on the other hand, can become a master of simple AC maintenance to ensure things run smoothly between your yearly inspections.
The simplest way to do this is to keep your evaporator coil clean. Over time, dust, dirt, and other junk can accumulate on your unit, reducing its efficiency. Less efficient means that it uses more electricity to try to get the same job done, which can cause your electric bills to grow. By following these quick steps, you can experience better air conditioning, feel handy, and know that you won’t have to worry about a coil replacement anytime soon.
How to Clean Your Evaporator
- Before you start any work on you AC, turn off the power. This is very important. You may not want to pay the coil replacement cost, but there is no price you can pay for you health.
- The coil is typically located above your furnace. There are many types of air conditioners, from air cooled to heat pumps, and each company makes them differently, so you may not be able to get into yours. The unit it is in, called a plenum, will either be wrapped in foil or covered by sheet metal. If it is sheet metal, you should not attempt to open it.
- If it is foil-wrapped, carefully remove the foil and any tape holding it in place, which you will have to put back on when finished.
- You will see an access plate, secured by screws. Unscrew them and remove the plate.
- Using a scrubbing brush, begin cleaning the bottom of coil unit. If you are having trouble reaching, you can bring the unit out a bit, though be cautious about damaging any of the pipes. You may need a mirror or flashlight to help you see what you are doing. Many companies make air conditioning coil cleaning sprays and foams. These products can be very useful, as they are specifically made to make this task as simple as possible.
- Below the evaporator is a tray. Clean this and pour a tablespoon of household bleach into a hole known as a “weep hole.” This will help prevent the growth of any fungus due to the moisture.
- Put everything back into place, screw the access plate back on, tape the foil again, and turn your AC back on.
Congratulations, you have just done some of the easiest, yet most rewarding home repair possible. Now just sit back, relax, and enjoy that refreshingly efficient air conditioning.