Spring cleaning should include more than turning your mattresses and washing windows. To enjoy a comfortable summer in your home, as well as in your wallet, take time to do seasonal maintenance on your air conditioning system. These simple steps will add life to your HVAC system and ensure energy efficiency.

  1. Power Down – As with all electrical appliance maintenance, shut off the power to the unit at both the exterior shut-off and at the interior breaker boxes.
  2. Eliminate Debris – Remove the top of the cage grill and vacuum out leaves and other debris from inside the condenser/compressor unit.
  3. Wash Fins – After removing the outer cover, brush away dirt from the fins. Then spray the fins, from inside out, using a garden hose and gently spray to remove dirt between fins. (Do not use a pressure washer; it will damage the fins.)
  4. Straighten Fins – Carefully, using a butter knife or other straightening tool, gently straighten bent fins.
  5. Clean Exterior – Replace the cage and clear vegetation within two feet of the unit in all directions to ensure efficient airflow around the condenser/compressor.
  6. Level Unit – As the soil beneath the pad supporting the condenser/compressor unit settles, the pad may tip. Level the pad using rot-resistant shims to avoid early unit failure.
  7. Clean Coil – Locate the evaporator coil inside the blower/furnace unit. Dust the coil and spray with a commercial no-rinse cleaner. After the spray foams and drips into the drain pan, clean the pan with soap, water and a small amount of bleach. Pour a cup of 50%/50% bleach/water solution down the drain. If the liquid does not drain well, use a shop vacuum to clear any blockages from the drain tube.
  8. Change Filter – Change the blower filter in your system, replacing the old filter with a new one with the same rating.
  9. Power Up – Turn on the power to the unit.

Your HVAC system may need maintenance beyond your expertise for issues such as refrigerant leaks or the need to clean air ducts to increase airflow efficiency. If that’s the case, be safe and arrange for a professional HVAC service provider to periodically check your system. Sit back and prepare yourself for a wonderful, comfortable summer ahead!