It is going to cost a little time and money to keep your HVAC system efficient. Failure to do even the most basic HVAC maintenance can have some expensive long-term and short-term consequences. In the short-term, you could experience higher utility bills. In the long term, you may have to replace major components sooner than normal (like the furnace or AC unit) because of poor maintenance. Basic maintenance is going to increase the overall lifespan of your entire HVAC system. This article explains how to properly clean your AC unit to keep it functioning at maximum efficiency over the years.
Keep Your AC Unit Covered
First of all, you can dramatically lengthen the lifespan of your AC unit if you keep it covered during the winter, or whenever you aren't using it. This doesn't mean you need to cover it every day you aren't using it, but you should consider putting the cover on if you are going out of town for a week or longer.
You should also make sure that your cover is waterproof. This is of the upmost importance if you live somewhere rainy or snowy during the winter. It is also very important you cover your AC unit because there are some very important working components on the outside of it.
Cleaning the Aluminum Fins
Most importantly, the exterior walls of an AC unit are lined with metal sheets. These sheets consist of aluminum fins, as they are called, which are part of the condensing system. You will notice that the fins have small gaps between each row. When these gaps get clogged with dirt, they slow down the condensing process and force the AC unit to use more electricity to cool down.
These fragile fins can also get bent quite easily. If you have bent or dirty fins, your AC unit is not going to be as efficient as it could be. This is a very common problem because the unit is right on the ground and is often sitting next to dirt. Wind can blow dirt and debris into the fins and make them very dirty. Luckily, just as they get dirty easily, they are also easy to clean.
The best way to clean your AC unit is to spray down the exterior walls, focusing on the dirtier fins with a hose. The fins are usually protected by a metal cage, but this won't stop you from cleaning them with ease.
For professional help, get in touch with a company like Universal Refrigeration.