Homeowners In St. Peters are concerned about the appearance of their property. They perform regular maintenance to keep their homes clean and in good repair. Some have wondered if it is safe to power wash their AC unit as part of their home maintenance.
Can You Pressure Wash the Outside of Your AC Unit?
Your air conditioner is an essential and expensive home appliance. Understandably, you are eager to keep it clean to protect your investment. Regularly maintaining your air conditioner will prolong the unit’s lifecycle and minimize unnecessary expenses. However, if you use the wrong tools to clean your AC unit, you can damage it and erase any savings you have made.
If your AC unit is full of dirt and debris, it will not function efficiently. The unit will have to work harder to suck in air, leading to increased breakdowns. Blocked air conditioner vents will cause poor performance and higher electric bills.
At first glance, a pressure washer appears to be the best way to remove the debris from the exterior of your air conditioning unit. It is high-powered and can quickly remove dust and mildew. However, the pressurized water is too powerful for the coils of your AC unit.
Instead of eliminating the problem, using a pressure washer will create new problems by damaging the fins. The fins around your air conditioning unit are either aluminum or copper. As softer materials, they will easily bend when exposed to a high-pressure water stream. In some cases, the water stream from a pressure washer can damage the hoses and tubing of your AC unit. Attempting to clean your AC unit with a pressure washer is not recommended. However, there are tools and techniques that you can use effectively.
Tips for Effectively Cleaning Your AC Unit
Before cleaning your AC unit, make sure that you power it down. You will be using sufficient water to clean the unit, and you want to take safety measures to prevent electrical shocks. You can disconnect the power at the breaker or unplug the unit.
Next, cut any grass or weeds surrounding your unit. This excess vegetation can hamper airflow and reduce your unit’s efficiency.
Take off the top of your unit. You may need to get a screwdriver and loosen a few screws to access this. A fan might be connected to the top cover, so be careful to put it in a place where it will not be damaged. Use a rag or brush to clean the blades of your unit. If you feel uncomfortable doing this type of maintenance, don’t worry. Our team at Agers Heating & Air Conditioning stands ready to help you get your AC unit working at its peak condition.
Use plastic wrap to cover electric wires and the motor. This will prevent any electrical components from getting damaged by the water. Take your vacuum and use the brush attachment to remove debris inside the unit. If you notice that some of the fins are warped, use a knife or a fin comb to straighten them out. Feel free to run the vacuum over the coils inside the condenser. You won’t damage the unit if you are gentle with how you do the work.
Once the inside of the unit is clean, you can use a coil cleaner spray to remove dirt on the fins. Let the cleaning solution set on the fins for a few minutes, and then wash it away with a gentle stream from your garden hose. Although the stream of water from a garden hose has a lot lower pressure than a power washer, it is more than enough to remove dust and dirt. Try to keep moisture away from the motor.
After you have cleaned your unit, it is time to put it back together. This means removing the plastic you put down to protect the electrical parts and motor. Reconnect the fan to the unit’s top cover, and attach any screws as needed. Then, you can power up the unit by plugging it in or flipping the switch in the electrical box. Set the unit to cool. Enjoy the increased efficiency of having a clean AC unit. Usually, it’s better to have the professionals at Agers Heating & Air Conditioning clean and maintain your air conditioning unit. We have the tools and experience to complete the job correctly and efficiently. At the same time, we can use cleaning and maintenance sessions to identify any current problems or potential problems the unit might have.
Additional Maintenance Tips for Your Air Conditioning Unit
In addition to properly cleaning the unit, you want to regularly replace and clean its filters. Clogged or dirty filters impede and drastically reduce the efficiency of your system. If the airflow is obstructed, air may bypass the filter, landing directly on the evaporator coil. This will impact the coil’s ability to absorb heat. If you replace a clogged, dirty filter with a clean one, you may reduce your AC unit energy consumption by up to 15%.
If you’re maintaining a central air conditioner, you will find filters along the return duct’s length. It may be on the ceiling or wall of the AC unit. A room AC unit will have a filter mounted on the grill facing the room.
AC filters can be reusable, or they may need to be replaced. You should clean your AC filter every couple of months during the warm season. If your AC unit is in constant use, you live in a dusty area, or you have furry pets, you may need to clean it more frequently.
At the start of the hot season, check the seal between the air conditioner and the window frame. You want to make sure that it’s making contact with the unit’s metal case. During the winter, moisture can damage the seal. This will let cool air escape from your house.
During the winter months, you should cover your AC unit. If it is a window unit, remove it and store it away. Covering the outdoor part of a central air conditioning unit will prevent it from getting damaged by winter weather and falling debris.
If you notice that your AC unit needs more extensive maintenance or is not reducing the indoor temperature to a comfortable level, talk to a professional service technician. Experienced technicians can fix problems with your AC system. As part of the check we do at Agers Heating & Air Conditioning, we will review the refrigerant amount, capture any refrigerant that has to be evacuated from the AC and dispose of it properly, measure the airflow through the evaporator coil, and check the thermostat, motors, and belts for wear and tear.
Work with St. Peters’ Most Experienced HVAC Service
At Agers Heating & Air Conditioning, we have been handling heating and cooling needs for clients in St. Peters for nearly two decades. We are not happy until our customers are happy. You will be able to see how much we care about your home when you experience our customer service.
We only use experienced technicians that are kind, respectful, and clean. Whether you need heating or cooling maintenance or a complete installation, we are the team you can trust. Contact Agers Heating & Air Conditioning today. We look forward to helping you make your home a comfortable place to work and play.