How Often Should You Clean Your AC Unit?

A general rule of thumb is to clean or replace air conditioner filters once a month during the season of use. If you only run the air conditioner occasionally, you may be able to do it every other month, but it's best to get in the habit of doing it on the first day of each month. In most cases, you can get away with cleaning your coils once a year with a seasonal adjustment. However, you should consider where your unit is located.

If you live in an area with heavy air pollution, you might want to have your coils cleaned twice a year. Additionally, if the equipment is old or running most of the day, frequent tune-ups will keep the system working better. Checking condenser coils every two months and using a brush to gently remove debris can be an easy way to keep the system running between each set-up. Repairing your air conditioner can be costly, so keeping your system clean all year round can save you a lot of money in the long run. The fins of the evaporator and condenser coils are extremely delicate and can be bent with very little force.

Most of the cleaning is best left to an air conditioning contractor, who will clean the coils during a routine maintenance visit. Ideally, air conditioning maintenance should be performed twice a year, although once is sufficient for some systems. Between visits, the condenser coils can be cleaned by removing large debris and rinsing the coils with a hose, after turning off the power. The evaporator is often difficult to access and must be cleaned professionally. Some types of filters are reusable; others need to be replaced.

They are available in a variety of types and efficiencies. Clean or replace the filter(s) in your air conditioning system every month or two during the cooling season. Filters may need more frequent care if the air conditioner is in constant use, if it is subject to dusty conditions, or if you have pets with fur in the house. At a minimum, you should try to get your air conditioner serviced every year in early to mid-spring. But for optimal performance, it would be better for you to have your unit serviced in the fall as well.

An HVAC contractor will focus on your furnace to prepare your system to cope with heating demands once temperatures cool down. Experts agree that you should get your HVAC system serviced twice a year. You must schedule the air conditioner to be tuned in late spring and fall. Your air conditioner requires regular maintenance, but when is it time to clean it? Most homeowners should check the filter every 30 to 60 days, although its frequency will depend on your lifestyle. If you have a family and a lot of pets, you may need to change the filter every two to three months. Pleated air filters are also a good option for monthly cleaning.

These filters trap dirt more effectively than flat filters. You might think that air conditioners “create cool air”, but in reality it's more accurate to say that they remove heat from the existing air in your home. Not only will dirty coils affect the efficiency of your unit, but excessive buildup can cause your air conditioner to break down. If the evaporator coils are dirty, they can't remove as much heat or moisture from the space and will take longer to cool the air. If you have a domestic air conditioning unit, cleaning the coils is an essential part of the process.

Regardless of how often your air conditioning unit is serviced, the technician will perform the same tasks to ensure that your system is in good condition. The filters, coils and fins of an air conditioner require regular maintenance in order for the unit to operate effectively and efficiently during its years of service. Maintaining a maintenance schedule for condenser coils can help ensure that the air conditioning system runs smoothly for a long time. Some air conditioning manufacturers require warranty owners to keep their cooling and heating systems in good working order. To keep the evaporator coils clean, it is important to check the air filter at least once a month and replace it as needed. While cleanups may seem insignificant, forgetting to properly remove dirt and debris from the condenser coils of your air conditioner can be extremely costly. Covering the outdoor unit of a central air conditioner will protect it from winter weather and dirt. Unlike indoor and outdoor air conditioning units which have likely been replaced if you live in an older home, it's unlikely that you've installed new ductwork. An HVAC professional can ensure your air conditioning unit is well maintained, functioning properly and ready to cool your home.

Failure to perform regular maintenance such as changing air filters and having the air conditioning unit adjusted annually may void its warranty.

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