Cleaning Air Conditioners

So accustomed have we become to the rhythm of the air-conditioner that rarely do we remember to clean it. Yet doing so reduces the cost of running it and helps prevent it from shutting down on a 95 degree day. Let's take a look at the proper way to clean this contraption.

Dirt and debris restrict air flow whether it is a window unit or central air. The debris forces the unit to work harder thus more expensively. The filter for a central unit is usually shared with the furnace. Clean it regularly especially during times of heavy use.

Outside, tackle that large unit once a year or twice a season if you live in a dusty area. Turn the thermostat off then pull the plug on the unit or turn off its circuit breaker. Now remove the grille and top panel which are attached by hexagonal cap nuts. Next remove the guard that covers the coil usually wrapped around the unit.

Next protect the motor of the fan and other electrical parts with large plastic bags and good ole duct tape. I cut off a good inch of the bristles of an old paint brush to stiffen it and use that to brush away dust and dirt. Set the garden sprayer to a hard setting then work from the inside of the unit and spray away grass clippings and dirt from the coil. Then spray for ants as they sometimes set up house around the condenser unit and block airflow that can damage the electronic parts. Do not clean the condenser unit as it is easily damaged.

Wait for 24 hours before turning the unit back on.

Small Window Units: Clean them once a year at the end of the season. Turn off the unit and unplug it. Remove it from the window and take it outside. Remove the screws on the cover to expose the coils. First vacuum the coils with the brush attachment. Next place a brick or several boards under the side of the unit with the electronic parts so water drips away from them. Then hose the coils taking care not to get electrical parts wet.

Use a cloth dampened with water only to clean the exterior of the unit. Either store it or put it back in the window and cover it with heavy plastic fastened tightly around the unit to prevent exposing the unit to moisture.

Large Window Units: Unplug the unit and place an old table in front of it. Remove the front panel and pull the chassis forward. Clean the interior parts with a paintbrush mentioned above. The crevice attachment on a vacuum cleaner tackles the coils. If the coils are quite stiff, a bottle cleaning brush also cleans them.

Be sure to visit Mary's website for all your cleaning needs.

About Mary

Mary Findley is a veteran cleaning expert and Founder of Mary Moppins. Mary built the company on the idea that she could create a way to make green cleaning easier, which inspired her to co-author "The Complete Idiots Guide to Green Cleaning" available on Amazon. The Mary Moppins line of specially designed cleaning tools are eco-friendly, yet industrial strength to give you the cleaning power you need to clean quickly and thoroughly.