Sunday, May 15, 2011

Maintaining your home air conditioner

A split-system home air conditioner provides heating and cooling all year round, is unobtrusive within your home, and works quietly for minimum interruption to your home life. But after awhile, you may notice your air conditioner growing louder, working less efficiently, or taking longer to heat and cool your room. If this is the case, it's time to give your air conditioner a good clean!

Without regular cleaning and maintenance, an air conditioner can become clogged with sludge and particles from the air, leaving less space for the fresh, clean air to travel through into your home. Regular cleaning of your air conditioner keeps it working at optimum efficiency, as well as prolonging its lifespan.

Here's how to clean your home air conditioner:

Before you do any cleaning, ensure power is off on all home air conditioner units.

On the inside unit, you will need to wipe down all the surfaces with a warm, damp cloth (you can use a mild detergent too, as long as it isn't abrasive. You don't want to ruin the plastic). Inspect the coil on the indoor unit, if it needs cleaning, use a brush or damp cloth to remove dirt. Be careful when cleaning not to bend any of the fins. You can use a comb to straighten them again.

Remove the filters and use a vacuum to clean out the dust and debris. You can also wipe the filter down with warm water to remove any dust.

If the outdoor unit is dirty, remove it from the wall or window and rest it on a clean, hard surface. Clean the filters out and make sure any electric elements are switched off or covered with plastic before beginning to clean the coils.

Use a spray detergent or coil cleaner on the coils – wait for several minutes before washing and wiping off with a little water. Dry the air conditioner in the sun before replacing it in the proper position.

The frequency with which you need to clean your home air conditioner depends on the amount of time you regularly use it – but, for proper maintenance, it should be cleaned once a month and the filter cleared out once a fortnight during heavy use.

Proper cleaning and maintenance of your home air conditioner will prolong its life and keep it working efficiently all year long.