The last thing we want to find out during a hot summer day at our home is that our air conditioner is not working. This is why you need to know a few aircon cleaning tips before the summer hits. An air conditioner that sits idle for a while collects a lot of dust and debris. Hence you should take maintenance of your aircon into serious consideration before you switch it on.
Repairing the sealed refrigeration system of an aircon is not your job. It is something that should be handled by an aircon professional. However, you can do small cleaning and maintenance tasks to ensure that your aircon operates well during summer.
Easy Aircon Cleaning Tips for Households
Before Everything, Shut the Power Off
Before you start with cleaning anything, turn off the power to the condenser at the service panel. The condenser is a weatherproof disconnect box situated near the aircon unit, and it has power - typically 240 volt. It contains a lever, fuses, or a circuit breaker to shut the condenser off - turn this off too. The condenser has a capacitor that stores electric charge, so allow at least half an hour for the charge in it to dissipate, or else it can be dangerous. Also, make sure that you do not touch any electrical components of the aircon as an added precaution. The air-handler cabinet comes with a separate circuit breaker in the main electrical panel - make sure that you shut that off, too.
Now let us have a look at how you can clean and set your aircon up before summer for it to work without failure.
Cleaning and Replacing the Aircon Filters
Cleaning and replacing the aircon filter is the most important and easiest step to do. Most aircon units have a replaceable or reusable filter in the air-handler cabinet, and it is typically located near the air-inlet side. Some aircon systems have air filters in the return-air registers inside the house. Clean and replace these filters twice a year, or at least when they get covered with dust. The airflow will be limited if you continue to run the aircon without replacing the filters, and thus the unit will recirculate dust into the rooms.
Cleaning the Condenser Coils
The condenser unit of an aircon is usually located outdoors. It is a large metal box having sides that look like grilles, behind which you can see the blades of the fan. It is protected by a tarp or condenser cover during the winter to prevent the accumulation of leaves, dirt and other debris inside it. The fan blades move air across the condenser coils. There is a chance for the coils to clog if any dirt goes inside. And if that happens, it will reduce the efficiency of the condenser. It is why you need to clean the coils before the cooling season.
After making sure that the power to the unit is turned off, remove the side and panels on top from the condenser unit with a screwdriver or nut driver. Lift the top off - this could be heavy since the fan is attached to the top. Don’t pull any wires connected to the fan. Gently clean the coils from the outside of the aircon using a soft brush on a vacuum without damaging the fins and coils. You can clean the coils from the inside once you finish cleaning from the outside, and use a commercial AC coil cleaner to remove stubborn dirt from the coils. Be careful to not spray the cleaner on the electrical components.
Clean the Dust and Debris from the Condenser
Brush away the leaves and dirt from the base of the condenser and clear the drain, if it has one. Clean the blower’s fan blades using a soft rag and tighten the mounting bolts. Put some drops of lightweight oil into the oil ports to enhance lubrication. Remove the weeds and vines in the condenser that obstruct the airflow through the unit. Mop to remove the excess water present inside the aircon. Reassemble the condenser later.
Check the Coolant Lines
The refrigerator pipes that run from the evaporator to the condenser outside are usually covered with foam coolant line insulation. Replace areas where the insulation is worn or missing by installing foam insulation sleeves, which you can buy online. You can wrap the lines in a spiral way with foam insulation tape.
Test the Aircon Unit
Allow the whole unit to dry completely and then turn on the power to the condenser. To turn the power on, turn the thermostat in your home to OFF, and turn on the power at the disconnect box and the main panel. Then, switch the thermostat to COOL.
Know more aircon cleaning tips for summer? Let us know and we will add to our current list.
Aircon Maintenance Service in Singapore
If you see that your aircon is still finding it difficult to work smoothly, get in touch with the Sendhelper. The aircon professionals of our team are equipped to do the repairs of the sealed refrigeration system of the aircon. Download the Sendhelper app from App Store or Google Play, and book an aircon service at your preferred time and location.