Before summer hits and you start using your air conditioner unit every day, take time to clean it thoroughly! In fact, we recommend that cleaning your air conditioner is part of your annual spring cleaning routine! Don’t worry; this isn’t just another item on your to-do list. Maintaining a clean HVAC unit mean your air conditioner will function better and last longer!
Why Clean your Air Conditioner?
Think about it. An air conditioner takes air from your room, sucks it in, cools it down, and then blows it back into the room. Air conditioner filters catch particles from the air that’s sucked in so they don’t blow back into your room. That means your air isn’t just cooler than before, it’s also cleaner.
What happens to the particles that are sucked in but never come out? They stay inside your air conditioning filter until you change it. Not changing or cleaning your air conditioning filter not only impacts the longevity of the appliance, it also means higher utility bills and negative impacts on your health.
Have you ever heard that a filter with a high MERV rating is good? You might be surprised to learn that less expensive filters are actually preferable to the more expensive, high-MERV filters. That’s because the less expensive filters aren’t as restrictive to the air flow and tend to outlast the filters that catch all those microscopic particles. Our customers are thrilled to learn that they can get cheaper filters, even if they struggle with allergies!
Tips to Clean Your HVAC Filters
Not all filters need to be cleaned. Central HVAC systems take disposable filters, which need to be replaced at least once every three months. Once you replace a filter, throw the old one away. It’s an easy process, but it can lead to a lot of wasted money that you, literally, throw into the garbage.
Reusable filters can be used again and again, but they need to be cleaned. A filter inside a Mitsubishi Electric Heating & Cooling unit is designed to be regularly cleaned. It’s an easy process that extends the life of your filter for up to 10 years.
If you have a window air conditioning unit with a reusable filter, you must clean it at least once a month during the warm months of the year (April through October). Remove the filter and look for any damage. If the filter is torn, throw it away and replace it with a new one. If the filter is in good shape, soak it in a diluted solution of bleach and water to kill mold spores that are surely hiding inside. Scrub the filter gently to remove the grime, and then allow the filter to air dry completely. Use a handheld vacuum to remove any remaining dust particulates before you put it back inside your window unit.
Cleaning Your Outside Air Conditioning Unit
To clean your outside air conditioning unit:
- Switch your indoor thermostat to the “Off” position.
- Locate the metal box near your outdoor unit. That’s the electrical disconnect. Confirm there is no power to the outdoor unit, and turn off the air conditioner.
- Remove large pieces of debris from the outdoor unit; wearing gloves for this is highly recommended.
- Use the soft-brush attachment on your vacuum cleaner to clean the condenser fins. Work carefully so you don’t accidentally bend any of the fins.
- Use your water hose to pray loose debris off of the outside unit.
- Spray the outside air conditioning unit with coil cleaner. Wait 10-15 minutes. Rinse the coil cleaner off with your garden hose.
Your dusty baseboards or your cluttered garage might get more attention during this spring cleaning season, but make time to clean your air conditioner too. If you don’t want to add that to your maintenance list, perhaps you should consider a ductless cooling system. Check out our website to see how these systems work, and how they can save you money.