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How To Know If Your HVAC Is Leaking Carbon Monoxide

TL;DR: Carbon monoxide (CO) is a dangerous gas released by faulty heating systems, posing serious health risks. Symptoms include headaches, nausea, confusion, and even death. Signs of leaks include a yellow pilot light, soot, lack of chimney updraft, stale air, and condensation on windows. Protect yourself with carbon monoxide detectors, regular HVAC maintenance, and professional inspections. Considerations before repairs include pre-season check-ups, optimizing thermostat settings, tightening electrical connections, lubricating parts, cleaning filters and coils, checking refrigerant levels, inspecting gas connections, and hiring professional help when needed. Cummings Plumbing in Tucson offers HVAC repair and installation services with experienced technicians.

 

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a gas that doesn’t have odor, color, or taste. But if humans or animals come across it in high concentrations, it can have toxic effects on them. That means it is essential to ensure you are not releasing any into the air through your heating system, a topic we’ll discuss in today’s article. 

Carbon monoxide from a heating unit, such as a furnace, is released due to deficient ignition of carbon-containing fuels. Some home furnaces can release CO in the air, both outside your residence and inside. This is less likely to happen with some of the newer and modern HVAC systems, but it’s still wise to know the signs that you have high levels of CO inside your home. 

Average carbon monoxide levels in indoor and home settings vary from 0.5 to 5 parts ppm and may reach 30 ppm or higher. If the levels are on the higher end of the scale, you could be dealing with carbon monoxide leaks. But how to know if your HVAC is leaking carbon monoxide? Stick around for the rest of this article to learn more!

Understanding the Risks of Carbon Monoxide Leaks

Even if you don’t know exactly how to tell whether you have a carbon monoxide leak in your home, you might get some hints from the symptoms you experience. Upon exposure to this gas, you may get migraines, shakiness, sickness, and confusion, while exposure to the gas in high concentrations can be lethal. 

Extensive exposure to low levels of carbon monoxide can also lead to serious health issues. For this reason, frequent maintenance and careful observation are vital to avoid leaks and guarantee the safety of your HVAC system, especially if you use a gas furnace or burner regularly.

Signs of Potential Carbon Monoxide Leaks

Carbon monoxide may be hard to notice, but it’s not impossible to tell whether it is present in the air in your home. Any home can be affected by a carbon monoxide leak since HVAC systems and other devices can release it. You can protect your household by learning the signs of carbon monoxide leaks and how to recognize them. 

  • Yellow or Flickering Pilot Light: A flickering pilot light with a yellow hue on your gas furnace could indicate carbon monoxide production. A properly functioning furnace should have a blue flame, so any divergence from this could be a concerning sign of potential gas leaks.
  • Soot or Rust: Seeing soot or rust around the furnace or vents may indicate a carbon monoxide leak. This could be a hint of incomplete combustion and the discharge of carbon monoxide into your living space.
  • Lack of an Updraft in Your Chimney: If your chimney does not produce an updraft during the operation of the furnace, it could signal a blockage or improper ventilation. This may lead to carbon monoxide accumulation and leakage.
  • Stale or Stuffy Air: Does the air condition in your home seem dry and heavy? This may be due to improper ventilation caused by a carbon monoxide leak. This can occur together with a lack of fresh air and a feeling of discomfort.
  • Excessive Condensation on Windows: Abnormally high condensation levels on windows could indicate foul air in your home. These may be caused by a carbon monoxide leak, hinting at a malfunction in the HVAC system.

Taking Action to Address Potential Leaks

Carbon monoxide’s unscented, flavorless, and uncolored characteristics may cause unexpected leaks from faulty heating systems. Every year, over 400 people get poisoned and pass away from unexpected carbon monoxide poisoning in America. 

Thus, taking immediate action to eliminate potential carbon monoxide leaks is essential. Let’s explore the most effective ways to protect yourself and your family members from this silent threat.

  • Place Carbon Monoxide Detectors: If you fear there are carbon monoxide leaks in your property, place carbon monoxide detectors.. These appliances can signal the presence of carbon monoxide, allowing you to take prompt action to freshen the area and turn off the HVAC system if mandatory.
  • Schedule Regular HVAC Maintenance: Orderly upkeep of your HVAC system is essential for preventing carbon monoxide leaks. Professional HVAC technicians can inspect the system, clean the components, and ensure that all vents and pipes are clear of gas interferences.
  • Check Vents and Flues: Frequently inspect your HVAC system’s vents and pipes to ensure they are free from obstructions or dirt accumulation. Blockages can cause improper ventilation and potential carbon monoxide residue.
  • Seek Professional Assistance: If you notice any potential signs that signal a future developing carbon monoxide leak, it is very important to seek professional assistance as soon as possible. HVAC professionals can perform a detailed inspection of your system to detect and fix any issues.

Considerations Before Scheduling a HVAC System Repair 

Organizing professional repair for your HVAC system is crucial to ensure it operates effectively and to prevent potential issues. Regular maintenance can make your system more durable, improve energy efficiency, and help avoid expensive repairs. Here is what you need to consider before scheduling an appointment with a professional service:

  • Annual Pre-Season Check-Ups: Plan to have your cooling system checked in the spring and the heating system in the fall to ensure peak performance before the peak seasons when you will use the system more regularly.
  • Check Thermoregulator Condition: Ensure the thermoregulator’s settings are optimized for comfort and energy savings.
  • Tighten Electrical Connections: Regularly tighten all electrical connections and calculate voltage levels and motor currents to avoid dangerous operation and reduce the risk of major component failure.
  • Lubricate Operating Parts: Correctly lubricate all operating parts to reduce motor resistance and minimize electricity usage.
  • Examine and Clean or Replace Air Filters: Regularly go through, clean, or replace air filters in your central air conditioner, furnace, and/or heat pump to maintain efficient operation and avoid equipment deterioration.
  • Clean Evaporator and Condenser Coils: Ensure that the evaporator and condenser air conditioning coils are clean to maintain the system’s cooling efficiency and reduce energy costs.
  • Check Refrigerant Levels: Verify and adjust the refrigerant level to optimize system efficiency and lifespan.
  • Clean and Adjust Blower Components: Regularly maintain the cleanliness and modify blower components to secure accurate system airflow and enhance comfort levels.
  • Inspect Gas Connections and Pressure: Examine all gas connections, pressure, burner ignition, and heat intercharger for safety and efficiency.

Hire Professional HVAC Help in Tucson, Arizona

That’s the basic information on how to know if your HVAC is leaking carbon monoxide. Remember that all indications of a carbon monoxide leak should be taken seriously, meaning immediate freshening up of your indoor areas and contacting local HVAC specialists who can check and fix your HVAC system. 

At Cummings Plumbing, we specialize in repairing your home systems to offer the most worry-free experience. We also provide installation services performed by the most experienced and skillful technicians. As a company that has been on the market since the 1980s, you can rest assured that we can help with any HVAC problems quickly and efficiently. 

So, don’t hesitate to call us today and get your in-house free estimate!

 

FAQ

How can I tell if my HVAC system is leaking carbon monoxide?

Look out for signs such as a yellow or flickering pilot light, soot or rust around the furnace or vents, lack of an updraft in your chimney during furnace operation, stale or stuffy air, and excessive condensation on windows. If you notice any of these signs, contact Cummings Plumbing for a professional inspection.

What should I do if I suspect a carbon monoxide leak in my home?

If you suspect a carbon monoxide leak, immediately ventilate the area by opening windows and doors, evacuate the premises, and call Cummings Plumbing for assistance. They specialize in HVAC repair and can quickly address any issues to ensure your safety.

How often should I schedule maintenance for my HVAC system to prevent carbon monoxide leaks?

It’s recommended to schedule annual maintenance for your HVAC system, ideally before the start of each peak season. Cummings Plumbing offers regular maintenance services to keep your system running efficiently and to detect any potential carbon monoxide leaks early on.

Why should I choose Cummings Plumbing for HVAC repair and maintenance?

Cummings Plumbing has been serving the Tucson area since the 1980s, providing reliable HVAC repair and installation services. Their experienced technicians specialize in identifying and fixing issues with heating systems, including carbon monoxide leaks, to ensure the safety and comfort of your home. Contact them today for a free estimate and peace of mind.

When To Replace Your Thermostat: How to Know When’s Time

Your home temperature is a key player in your comfort. And the most common way to tell the temperature in your home and know if you should do anything to change it is by using a home thermostat. 

The best thermostats last around 35 years before you need to replace them. But, these devices are prone to breaking even before that. So is there a way to know that the thermostat in your home is about to stop working?

Yes! This article will elaborate on common signs that you need a new thermostat, how to tell if it’s broken, and how it works. Plus, we’ll offer some exciting solutions. 

How Long Do AC Thermostats Last?

Every thermostat’s lifespan can vary, depending on the type, model, and mode of making. If you are wondering, “How long do AC thermostats last? then you should know that the older mechanical thermostats usually last up to 35 years, but the modern ones have a shorter lifespan of 10 years. However, that’s not a rule that’s set in stone. 

Like most gadgets in your home, the thermostat will eventually become outdated. The old ones are bound to be replaced with programmable smart thermostats with many features like app connecting, monitoring, customization, and much more. 

But if you don’t want to change your thermostat, then there are things you could do to make it last longer. You should also regularly clean it and inspect it for malfunctions. Sometimes you will  need to reset your thermostat – set it from 7 to 10 degrees for 8 hours of the day. This decreases heating bills, giving the thermostat time to reset while at work. 

When to Replace Home Thermostat: Key Indicators

One clear clue that you need a thermostat replaced is when you notice malfunctions. This is noticeable if your home seems hotter or colder than usual. Obvious signs are also if the device won’t turn on or off and it shows suspicious measurements. 

Below we give you some less-obvious signs you need so you know when to replace home thermostat

Unresponsive Thermostat 

Some thermostats run on batteries. And batteries don’t last forever – they, too, need replacing once in a while. Before deciding that your thermostat is broken, check if the battery is dead. Try to replace the old batteries with new ones; if this doesn’t change anything, the problem lies elsewhere. In most cases, it’s an issue with the wiring. 

Your AC and Heater Won’t Start 

If the thermostat’s wiring becomes loose, it can break connections with your home heating and cooling appliances. This means that the thermostat isn’t controlling the air conditioner or the heater. 

Other reasons why your AC or heaters aren’t working include defects in the system which can cause misread temperature settings. This problem usually can’t be fixed by changing the settings.

Each Room Has a Different Temperature 

Most people program their thermostats to different temperature settings for each room. A faulty thermostat can mess up the HVAC system’s controls by switching them on and off. This means that the room with the HVAC system will get the most temperate air. Because of this problem, the other rooms in the house will barely get any cool or hot air. 

Incorrect Temperature Readings 

A thermostat that reads incorrect temperatures won’t be heating or cooling your home. If you compare another new thermostat with your current one, and they show different temperatures, then it’s time to replace it. 

Note that your thermostat could show faulty readings due to sunlight and draft proximity. If that’s not the case, try to see if there’s dust buildup. After you clean up your thermostat, see if the readings change. 

Once you clean your thermostat and notice it continues to malfunction, you should consider buying a new one.  

You Can’t Save Your Settings

If you have to reprogram your temperature settings every day, there’s a chance you might need a new one. With a smart thermostat, you can customize programmable features and connect directly to your homely HVAC system. This way, you control temperatures and the heating and cooling process in each room. 

Most smart thermostats allow you to sync up your AC and heaters to run simultaneously for periods. But, if your device forgets or completely ignores your setting, then it might be buggy. 

Simply put, you’ll know your thermostat is faulty if it doesn’t save the settings you’ve chosen. The causes for tweaks with the settings are usually minor, like dying batteries. Other causes can include thermostat memory defects. This is solved by putting the device into factory reset. If the factory reset does not help, then a new thermostat would be a good idea. 

No Display 

The digital thermostat has a display that’s always there, but now it’s blank. Since most thermostats are digital nowadays, the displays are known to continue working even if there’s something wrong. 

The interface needs to project the temperature, the time, and other useful information. A blank thermostat is there to capture your attention to investigate. The usual culprits for this are some intervention with the HVAC system, flooding or heavy rain, etc. 

The Benefits of a New Thermostat 

A thermostat comes with many benefits, but they have a lifespan. Buying a new thermostat is probably the best thing to do if you’re having trouble with your old one and can’t seem to fix it. 

A new thermostat will work as a cool indicator of your current room temperature, meaning you won’t have to check twice. If you have a new thermostat, here are some benefits you can reap:

  • Consistent, comfortable room temperature;
  • No malfunctions leaving you with one extremely hot and one cold room;
  • It allows you to set your required temperature and sticks to it;
  • Some devices are smart, so you might have high-tech features like humidity and air quality checks;
  • You’ll feel more at home with your preferred temperature all the time;
  • It saves the bills;
  • A new thermostat is cost-efficient, which means it preserves a lot of wasted electricity.

The thermostat usually works with the HVAC system in your home. This is when you have a few other thermostats regulating other rooms in your area. These other thermostats have different preferred temperatures. So you’ll need a functional thermostat to work with an HVAC system. 

Do You Need an Electrician to Install a Thermostat?

If you’re directly asking do you need an electrician to install a thermostat, the answer is yes! 

Thermostats are not the easiest to adjust and should not be tampered with if you are not a licensed professional. No matter how many lightbulbs you change, you won’t be able to install a thermostat that easily without help. 

In some states, you could be breaking the law if you try to install a thermostat yourself. Every thermostat needs to be installed by a licensed, professional electrician so they can verify that no harm can be done to you or your property. So, if you are not a professional, it’s best to leave this to someone that can guarantee a job well done. 

For all that live in Tucson, Arizona, and feel the need for a proper thermostat, call Cummings Plumbing, Heating &Cooling. Whether you need an AC repair or a thermostat installation, you can turn to our team for help. We have a long experience behind us to guarantee that we can fix everything in no time!

Call us today and get a free estimate! 

Replacing a Thermostat: Sooner is Better

We hope you got some perspective on how to recognize when to replace thermostat devices with new ones. With cold winters and scorching summers, it’s better to take care of your thermostat sooner than later.

Changing your thermostat is necessary. Without it, you lose control of the ambient and get into a situation where some areas are colder or hotter than others. Not only that, but it can also mess with your other electronics and create even greater problems. 

Make sure to look out for the signs that will tell you when to change thermostat devices. Once you notice them, act immediately and give yourself peace of mind for years to come. 

FAQ

How do you know if your home thermostat is going bad?

The number one sign that your thermostat has gone bad is if it reads incorrect temperatures and doesn’t save changes. Other indicators include not displaying the right temperature, not saving the changes you make, etc.

How do I test my home thermostat?

The best way to see if your thermostat works is by turning up the heat. For additional confirmation, you can do it with a partner who can watch the furnace while you’re turning up the heat on the thermostat. If a sound doesn’t follow this, then you might have something wrong with the thermostat. 

What happens if you don’t replace the thermostat?

If you don’t replace your thermostat in time, you could get stuck with inappropriate temperatures in your home, high energy bills, or worse – electrical problems that may lead to other disasters.

Improving AC Efficiency: The Best Ways to Do It

The air conditioner is our best friend during hot summer days and long winter nights when the temperatures rapidly change. It provides a pleasant atmosphere to help us survive high heat and extreme cold, but if not maintained adequately, it can be the reason our energy bills go through the rough.

According to some statistics, US homes are facing an increase in energy costs, and the AC has an immense contribution to these costs. Homeowners are always looking for ways to reduce costs and, at the same time, improve the performance of the AC.

There are many ways to improve AC efficiency and, in this article, we will discuss several. Some of these steps include easy adjustments you can do yourself, while others would require consulting a professional. We’ll give you tips on where to look for issues and what to do to reduce your energy bills.

How to Improve AC Efficiency?

Depending on the AC unit installation, you’ll need to look for ways how to improve air conditioner efficiency. Owners who enclose AC units because of their appearance should be careful not to enclose them fully. This will present a problem for the AC performance and the cleaning and maintenance of the unit. Blockages should also be prevented around vents to ensure proper air circulation.

Outdoor units can improve their performance by shading them during the summer. Installing the unit in a shaded place will not require it to work as hard as when exposed to the sun. If this is impossible, find another way to shade it and protect it from the sun. This also means protecting the outside unit from extreme cold. Find a suitable spot that will keep the unit from overheating or be exposed to ice and wind.

Other simple ways you can help improve efficiency and performance are buying a whole-house fan to draw in clean air from the outside and remove hot, stale air from your home. Add ceiling fans to move the cold air throughout your home, or cover your windows to prevent the heat from entering the house.

Dirty filters play a significant role in the AC’s performance, which is a reason to replace them regularly. In addition to lowering the air quality in your house, dirty filters may also restrict airflow, making your AC’s job more challenging. It is a simple and inexpensive method of avoiding issues with air conditioner performance.

How to Increase Home AC Efficiency?

There are many ways to boost the work of your AC. Investing in an energy-efficient central air conditioner, along with ongoing repairs, tune-ups, and upkeep, ensures performance boosts and reduction of costs. We’ve compiled a list of several strategies on how to increase home AC efficiency.

Keep Your Outdoor Units and Vents Clean

AC’s performance can significantly decrease due to clogs or debris found near the outdoor condenser. Check for possible blockages around the unit that may be causing reduced performance. Clear away any winter leaf piles, and trim tall grass, bushes, or plants that may have sprung near the structure.

Regular cleaning and maintenance of the air conditioning system is recommended. This includes keeping the outdoor unit and vents unblocked and clean of dust and other debris to allow normal performance of the AC.

Improve the Attic and Walls’ Insulation

Insulation is an important component of every house to keep the heat inside, and it also keeps the cool air from escaping and prevents the summer heat from entering the house.

Lack of insulation in the walls and attic will cause the energy bills to increase, costing you lots of money. It also means that the air conditioning system will work harder than necessary to maintain the temperature in your home.

Clean the Drain Line

Air conditioning systems have drain lines that are usually located near the indoor cooling coil and are used to drain the moisture created from the indoor air. The drain line can clog up and create a blockage which can cause further damage.

Pay special attention during the days when the AC works 24/7, and a lot of moisture is created. Use a cup of chlorine bleach and a gallon of water to clean the drain line. This will ensure the drain line is clean and prevent any water-related damage.

Use Blinds And Curtains to Cover Your Windows

The heat from the sun can enter through the windows causing the temperature inside to rise rapidly. Establish a routine of drawing the curtains or closing the blinds as a way to block the heat from entering your home. This way, you’ll prevent your AC from working harder and increase its performance.

The Best Ways How to Improve Air Conditioner Efficiency

There are many ways how to increase AC efficiency, and one is to replace an old unit with a newer, more efficient model. However, before you go and spend your money on a new AC system, let’s look at how to improve AC efficiency of your current, fully functioning unit.

Fix All Possible Leaks

Leaky air systems can seriously reduce the AC’s performance and make it work harder than it should. Air easily leaks out through the attic, doors, and windows, costing you a lot of money. The AC will run longer than necessary to compensate for the lost air.

The right thing to do is check for leaks on doors, window frames, and the attic. If you notice any cracks, fix them to help the air conditioning system perform better and save you money.

Handle and Replace the Thermostat

Knowing how to handle the “brain” of the AC system will help you maintain a constant temperature in the space. New programmable thermostats will help adjust the temperature throughout the day to fit your busy schedule.

Another point to remember is to place it away from devices that produce heat, such as lamps, or even expose it to direct sunlight. It will misread the temperature making the AC work harder to decrease the temperature, hence increasing the cost.

If you notice that the thermostat keeps switching on and off repeatedly, it may be time to replace it with a new one. A malfunctioning thermostat will create high energy bills.

Maintaining the Temperature

Most people believe that keeping the same temperature level when they leave the house could lower their expenses because the system won’t have to work as hard to cool the home down again. This isn’t the case, though.

Turning up the thermostat during summer when you go out is the least expensive method to utilize your air conditioning. Air conditioning systems operate more effectively over extended periods at full speed. As a result, turning down the heat when you arrive home will save you more money than turning the air conditioner on and off while you are gone.

Check the AC Filter Regularly

The filters must be checked regularly and replaced if needed. Soiled filters reduce air quality and airflow, making the AC system work harder. Not addressing the issue with the filters may lead to more expensive repairs, so look at this as an affordable way of increasing AC efficiency.

Avoid Using Heat-Producing Devices

Avoid using heat-producing devices such as ovens and hair dryers on very hot days. This equipment generates heat, which the AC must dissipate in your home.

Running these devices in the middle of the day can put more strain on the AC when the temperature is high. Plan and operate these devices at night when it is cooler so the AC won’t have to work as much.

Plan Routine Maintenance to Increase Performance And Efficiency

While there are many things you can do to maintain your house energy-efficient, regular AC maintenance and repair performed by a professional like Cummings Plumbing is recommended. You won’t have to worry about cleaning the system and ensuring it functions properly. Additionally, they can aid in problem detection before they develop into larger ones, extending the life of the AC.

FAQ

Is it cheaper to leave the AC on all day?

Since ACs consume more energy when running continuously, operating the AC at full capacity when at home is more cost-effective than running it at a reduced capacity throughout the day. Your monthly utility costs will increase in direct proportion to the amount of power you utilize.

How can I reduce my AC bill?

Using a thermostat, you precisely control the temperature in your home. You can slightly change the temperature without affecting your enjoyment but with the possibility of using less energy. Programmable thermostats can be set to chill your area when you’re at home and increase the temperature when you’re gone, a straightforward adjustment that will ultimately save you a significant amount of energy.

What is the best AC temp to save money?

The optimal temperature of 78F allows you to be comfortable and reduce insanely high energy bills. Nevertheless, depending on the weather, you may need to change that setting. Your energy bill will increase if the inside and outside temperatures differ significantly.

Cleaning the AC: How Should You Go About It?

There are two answers to how to clean AC unit – learn how to do it on your own or let a professional take care of it.

As with any electrical device, cleaning and maintenance are essential. And cleaning your AC is, in particular, necessary in locations with hot weather, which may indicate overuse of the home’s cooling system.

Maintaining your AC is a critical part of air conditioning maintenance, helping you save money, maintain efficiency and increase the life of your system.

Read this article to learn how to take care of your AC adequately.

Why Is Cleaning the AC a Good Idea?

Regularly cleaning your AC has many financial and health benefits. Cool air is just one of the benefits while making sure the air is safe for you and your entire family is a crucial element.

This is why cleaning the AC is important:

  • Improved Air Conditioner Efficiency: Clogged and dirty air filters interfere with normal airflow and disable the air conditioner from operating more efficiently, which is why regular AC maintenance can help it work better.
  • Lowering the Power Bill: Maintaining your AC by keeping it clean can reduce your monthly utility bills by up to 30%. Dirty coils mean the device is working more to cool or heat the air, as there is a dirtier surface spot for hot air to flow through.
  • Extends the AC Life Span: Air conditioners are expensive, and you don’t want to change them if you are not obligated. On-time maintenance by a certified HydroKleen technician keeps the unit running efficiently.
  • It helps you breathe cleaner and safer air in your home: After an extended usage period, the AC becomes full of mold, bacteria, pet dander, etc. Proper cleaning of the unit will remove these contaminants in an environmentally friendly manner.

The importance of cleaning your air conditioner properly offers numerous benefits. The above-listed advantages are some of the main reasons you should clean and maintain your AC.

How to Clean AC Unit?

If you wonder how to clean AU unit, filters and coils are the two key components to pay attention to. Filters are used to remove dirt from the air, but when they’re blocked, your AC has to work extra hard and consume more energy, which increases your expenses without doing any good.

Therefore, you need to ensure the coils are clean and free of dust and debris because they assist in moving the hot and cold air.

To thoroughly clean your air conditioner, you will require a few materials from your house. Before you begin, gather the necessary supplies: a screwdriver, cloth, soft brush, and spray bottle.

Make Sure the Power Is Off

Before working on an electrical device, it’s a good practice to unplug the cable and switch off the electricity for extra protection.

Remove Any Excess Rubble

After unplugging your AC, take off the front panel and filter. Use a vacuum to remove as much dirt as possible. Next, clean your filter with hot water and soap before drying it outside. It is advised to reinstall your AC unit when it has completely dried out.

Clean the External Cover

Use the water hose’s spray to remove dirt particles from the external component. The coil cleaner should be sprayed on the outdoor unit. Wait for the cleaner to foam and bond with the dirt on the coils for 10 to 15 minutes. Use the hose to wash the coil cleaner.

Clean the Evaporator Coil

How to clear air conditioner coils? First, turn off the air conditioner on the thermostat before doing anything. Combine warm water with a little detergent in a spray bottle or garden sprayer. Pour the mixture onto the evaporator coils, then wait a few minutes for it to absorb and remove any particles or dirt. Use a gentle brush or towel to remove any substance that has come free, then reapply as necessary.

Should You Clean or Change the Filter?

It all depends on the type of filter you have. When disposable filters get dirty or clogged, they should be thrown. Most of these filters are not very expensive, including cardboard framing. Have extra of each available so you can swap them out as needed.

Permanent filters are more expensive initially, but you may save money over time because you can clean them rather than replace them. Permanent air filters typically have fiberglass frameworks instead of cardboard ones.

How to Clean AC Filters?

You can find various types of air filters, many of which are disposable and cannot be washed. However, due to the rapid changes in technology and the efficiencies that come with them, air filters that can be cleaned are frequently used. If you have used disposable filters before, it’s time to upgrade.

Now let’s walk you through the steps of cleaning your AC filter:

  1. Turn off the power and locate the filter: To begin the process, switch off your HVAC unit to stop unfiltered air from circling through your household. See where the vent is, and open the unit using a screwdriver. Some systems have numerous vents, so make sure to clean all of them. Take out the filter and examine if there is any damage. Change filters if necessary. Otherwise, keep vacuuming.
  2. Vacuum the air filter: It is recommended to take the filter out to keep the dust out of the home. Use a vacuum cleaner to remove dirt from the filter. Filter the brush and gently loosen any build-up deposits.
  3. Clean the filter with vinegar and water: To clean the filter more thoroughly, fill a sink with a 50/50 mix of water and vinegar. Soak the filter for about an hour. If you don’t have vinegar, dish soap can be used as a substitute. Finally, remove the filter and let it dry. Do not rinse it with water since it can negate the disinfecting effect of using vinegar.
  4. Reinstall The Filter: Once the filter has been cleaned and dried, put it back in place. Most filters have arrows that indicate which way they point, and this arrow should point in the direction of the airflow.

How to Clean Outside AC Unit?

One element that is frequently disregarded is the outside AC unit, and it affects the efficiency just as much as the indoor AC.

Follow our tips on how to clean outside AC unit:

  1. Turn off your AC: Make safety a priority by turning off the AC before cleaning it. Locate the power shut-off box close to the outside air conditioning unit and switch it off.
  2. Prepare for cleaning: The way to prepare for cleaning entails keeping the near area surrounding the outside AC clear. Trim the bushes back to a fair distance and remove any leaves and trash accumulated on or close to the unit.
  3. Get rid of dirt: AC that is blocked with particles might lose a lot of energy. Ensure to shut off the electricity at the breaker box before removing dirt from your outdoor air conditioning unit. Using a screwdriver or hammer, loosen the cage’s bolts so you may take it off the apparatus.
  4. Clean or replace: If your air filter is reusable, a strong spray from the garden hose will quickly wash it. If not, change it as needed to stop future accumulation.

Alternatively, you can reach us at Cummings Plumbing if you’d rather leave it to professionals.

Wrap-Up: How to Clean the Air Conditioning Unit?

Although these cleaning tips can help you maintain your AC, keep in mind that some maintenance tasks are best left to licensed HVAC specialists. They have all the equipment and cleaning techniques for central air conditioning units.

For example, an expensive engine failure could be caused by a slow refrigerant leakage in your air conditioner. You might not be equipped as a homeowner to monitor the refrigerant levels or guarantee optimum airflow. Therefore, even if you can perform rudimentary AC maintenance, you should still have a qualified expert check the system occasionally.

Our group of qualified Tucson plumbers, sewer, and HVAC specialists at Cummings Plumbing can identify the source of your HVAC issues. We offer reasonably priced options adapted to your particular needs and aim to resolve the issue as fast as possible.

FAQ

How often does an AC unit need to be cleaned?

Each month or two, wash or change the filter in your AC throughout the cold period. It may need frequent cleaning if the air conditioner is used more often, is exposed to dirty circumstances, or you have furry pets in the house.

How do I know if my AC unit needs cleaning?

When the air conditioner is operating and you can detect mold on the exterior vents, it’s time to start cleaning. When the AC is not cooling the room as it is expected, the AC usually requires cleaning. Finally, look for any strong smell or unusual noise, as the AC can worsen if not resolved on time.

Is it OK to spray water on your air conditioner?

Yes, you can spray water on your AC to clean it. Your air conditioner’s condenser will operate more effectively if sprayed with water. The reality is that your condenser has to be spritzed frequently to continue working effectively.

How long should AC dry after cleaning?

It is recommended to wait around 30 to 60 minutes before using the AC after washing the coils.