AC MaintenanceAir ConditioningSeptember 1, 2017by ADKHow to Maintain an Air Conditioner Unit

First of all, it is very important to say if there are serious problems with an air conditioning unit the best thing to do is to get a professional to have a look at it and take their advice. However general maintenance of an air conditioner is something that you will need to do on a regular basis. So it is important to know how to change filters and keep things clean inside to help your air conditioner to run smoothly all year round.

The first thing you must do is switch off the power. You don’t want parts to start moving while your fingers are in there trying to sort it out and keep it maintained. You could lose fingers, and that is no good to anyone. There will be an interior and exterior cut off switch – make sure both are off.

Exterior Cage

Your exterior outer cage is removable, you will need to either unscrew or unfasten it and take it off. Then clear out any debris using a damp cloth or a wet/dry vacuum.

Using a garden hose blast the dirt and debris from the inside of the unit outwards. Don’t use a pressure washer as this can damage the fins. You can use commercial cleaning solutions for fins, but please do make sure you read the manufacturers instructions first.

Fins are very important as the air flows through them. Sometimes they get bent out of shape, and you can bend them back very gently with a butter knife. There are tools specifically for this job available. You must be careful because the interior of the fins is delicate, and they have tubing in the centre of them which needs to be intact.

Once you have finished with cleaning you will need to replace the cage. It is important to drag the debris and leaves from around the unit, and put something on top of it so that the amount of leaves etc that fall is reduced. When you start to use the air conditioner again, make sure you remove the cover.

Unit Level

It’s important to keep the unit level so make sure you check it regularly. The only exception is the heat pump system air conditioner because that needs to slope away from the house slightly so that ice melts away from the house.

Evaporator Coil

Next we move inside and clean the evaporator coil. You will need a commercial no rinse evaporator cleaner. You may need to remove foil tape to do this. You will also need to pour down a bleach solution into the drain pain and down the drain to keep it clean.


Most air conditioners have a filter. The filter will either be reusable, in which case you can make sure it is spotlessly clean and put it back or a replaceable filter which will need to be replaced. You can find the filter close to the air inlet. HVAC filters need to be changed at least twice per year, at the beginning and end of the cooling season. If you live in a dusty area, then you could need to change your filter more regularly.

HEPA filters may seem like a good idea, but they can drastically reduce air flow. It’s important to buy filters that match the flow of the air conditioner. Failure to do so can cause problems with parts of the unit freezing and then they will need replacing.

It is important to match the airflow direction arrows so that they air can flow easily in the correct direction.

When you have finished and made sure everything is as it should be, you can switch the air conditioning unit back on. While it is great if you can do some basic maintenance of your air conditioner unit, never underestimate the importance of a regular professional maintenance from a respected company such as ADK.

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