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Cleaning the AC: How Should You Go About It?

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.


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.

Cummings Plumbing

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