Tips For Maintaining The Exterior Of Your Central Air Conditioner

When it comes time to maintain your central air conditioner, keeping the outside of the unit clean and maintained is as important as work done on the inside. If dirt or debris clogs up the exterior vents or fins, air flow into the unit is reduced and your unit will not work as efficiently. Use the following tips to help keep the exterior of your air conditioner maintained.

Keep Surrounding Branches Trimmed

As part of the maintenance for your AC unit's exterior, the first thing you should look at is any vegetation that is growing around the air conditioner. Any leaves or branches from plants, trees, and bushes will block and potentially clog up the fins.

If you see any branches growing within a foot of the unit, trim them back. Depending on how prolific the plant grows, you may need to do this trimming more than once a year.

Also, make sure you do not plant anything new close by This can save you work in the future.

Spray off the Exterior with a Garden Hose

The next thing you should do is clear off any dirt and dust that has settled on the unit and within the fins. You can do this by spraying the unit with a garden hose with the nozzle set on a medium-fine mist. Hold the nozzle at a sharp angle above one of the sides of the air conditioner, then spray downward, moving slowly towards the bottom.

Make sure you use a garden hose and not a pressure washer. The pressure from the latter would be too great, and the hard stream could enter the unit and damage the interior.

Straighten Any Bent Fins

Over time, the fins on the outside of your AC unit can become bent from impact damage. A bent fin can slow down the air flow into the unit, so you want to keep them as straight as possible. You can straighten lightly bent fins using a butter knife.

If you see a bent fin, carefully insert the point of the knife next to it, and lightly push the fin back into shape. However, if the fin is broken or severely bent, you may want to leave that job up to an HVAC professional during routine maintenance.

Using the above tips can help you keep the exterior of your central AC unit clean and maintained. However, the interior of your unit also requires maintenance at least once a year. Since the interior has working parts that require professional care, contact an air conditioning maintenance service, such as Nathan's Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc., to schedule a time for them to send someone to your home.