Keeping your HVAC system clean is vital if you want to maintain its energy efficiency, avoid unnecessary repairs and premature component failures. Some procedures, such as cleaning the evaporator coil, are best completed by a certified technician, but there are several others you can handle yourself. Turn off the system’s breakers in your main electrical panel first, then you can safely tackle the following HVAC cleaning tasks.
Remove Accumulated Interior Debris
Use a screwdriver or wrench, remove the outdoor unit’s fan cage/grill so the interior is accessible. Then, clean out any collected leaves and other debris by hand or with a shop vac.
Wash the Outdoor Condenser Fins
While the fan is still out, take the garden hose and spray outward from the interior to flush accumulated dirt from in between the fins. Never attempt this with a pressure washer, since this can damage the fins or refrigerant tubing.
Straighten Any Crooked Fins
Bent fins can restrict essential airflow and erode the system’s efficiency, so use a regular butter knife or a specialized fin comb to carefully straighten them. Afterwards, put the fan cage back in place.
Clean Up Debris Around the Unit
Remove any built up debris like dead leaves and broken branches, then trim any tree branches, shrubs and/or overgrown vegetation so there’s a clear two-foot swath surrounding the outdoor unit and proper airflow is maintained.
Flush the Condensate Drain Line
It’s crucial to periodically flush the condensate drain to remove any algae, mildew and dirt before clogs form that prevent condensed water from flowing freely. First, locate the outdoor end of the drain pipe; it’s often situated on an exterior wall near the condenser unit. Then, use your shop vac to clear any build up from the pipe. Go back inside and wash the condensate collection plan that sits below the evaporator coil. Finally, pour a cup or two of plain vinegar into the drain to flush out any remaining bits of debris.
For more HVAC cleaning tips to help keep the system in your San Antonio-area home in good working condition, contact us at Beyer Boys.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater San Antonio, Texas area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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