Spring Cleaning for Your Home’s Air Conditioner

outside AC heater

Ah, spring! As we enter the season of rebirth and resetting, it's time to think about clearing out the cobwebs – literally and figuratively.

One of the best places to start is in your home, particularly with your air conditioner. Regular maintenance can help improve performance and make sure dangerous pollutants don't accumulate in enclosed spaces.

In this blog post, we’ll provide an easy-to-follow guide on how to clean an air conditioner in preparation for summer.

Inspect and Clean Your Air Conditioner’s Filters

The first step to keeping your air conditioner running smoothly is to check the filters. What happens if you don’t clean your air conditioner’s filters? They can become clogged, which makes your air conditioner work harder to cool your home. This can lead to bigger problems and sometimes costly repairs. Knowing how to clean an air conditioner filter can save wear and tear on your A/C unit and help it cool your home more efficiently.

  1. Turn off the unit and identify where your filters are located – they may be on the outside of the unit, in a door panel, or even mounted on the wall.
  2. Carefully remove the filters and see whether they’re covered with dirt or blocked with debris. Using a flashlight can help, as some dirt is hard to see.
  3. Time to clean! Depending on the type of filter, you may be able to vacuum it. You can also use warm water and detergent to scrub the filter free of debris - just make sure it's fully dry before putting it back into the A/C system. This could take up to 24 hours.

Cleaning your air conditioner filter regularly is a great way to ensure you're always breathing in fresh air - so grab some gloves and get to work!

Should I Replace My A/C Filters Instead?

If your filters are too far gone to be salvaged with a thorough cleaning, you can simply purchase new ones. Check with the manufacturer or your system manual to ensure you buy the right replacement, or consult a professional at your local hardware store.

With the new filter in hand, replacing it is as simple as taking out the old filter and sliding the new one into place – no special tools required. Pay careful attention to the direction it goes in, however; most have arrows indicating which way to place it.

How to Clean Your Central Air Conditioner

Cleaning your central A/C outdoor unit might not be the most fun chore on your to-do list, but it’s an important part of keeping it running smoothly and delivering optimal performance.

To start, remove any dirt, debris, or leaves from the outside of your system. Next, you can use a shop vac to carefully clean the interior of the unit, removing dust and dirt buildup.

It’s also a good idea to make sure the exterior area is clear and tidy by trimming back any overgrown foliage nearby so that nothing is blocking the unit.

How To Clean Air Conditioner Coils

After vacuuming – or using a soft bristle brush to remove any accumulated dirt on the outside of the coils – use a foaming coil cleaner (available at most hardware stores) to cleanse the coils thoroughly.

Just spray evenly over the entire surface and let it sit for 10-15 minutes before rinsing off with cold water. That’s really all there is to cleaning your air conditioner's coils – easy as pie. With just a bit of effort, your outdoor unit will be refreshed and ready for summer.

Need Help with Your A/C System?

Sometimes air conditioners need a little more help than cleaning alone can provide. If your system requires maintenance, or even needs to be replaced entirely, trust the pros at Yellow Dot Heating & Air Conditioning, serving customers in Raleigh, NC for more than 20 years. Call (919) 925-4235 or schedule service today.