7 AC Cleaning Steps to Keep Your Unit Running All Year

Did you know that there are several common indoor air pollutants you might be breathing in right now? Some of these contaminants can affect your health, which is why it’s crucial to keep your AC system clean!

Fortunately, AC cleaning tasks are often relatively simple and easy to do. While a few do require professional assistance, most are straightforward enough for anyone to do.

Let’s explore seven AC cleaning steps that can help you keep your HVAC system in excellent condition!

1. Change Your Filter

Most household HVAC systems have a filter component that’s easily accessible to homeowners. This filter may sit behind a large grate in the wall or inside a small utility closet.

If you’re not sure where your AC system filter is, it’s likely filthy. Homeowners should take care to change their AC filter about every three months.

Individuals that tend to burn food or smoke indoors need to change their AC filter every month. Naturally, either of these habits can slowly destroy your HVAC system and clog it with airborne pollutants.

However, environmental factors can also decrease the quality of your interior air. For example, industrial or automotive pollutants can quickly become a problem if you live in a large city or urban area.

Adding an air purifier could be the perfect way to counteract these contaminants.

2. Install an Air Purifier

Does your home have an air purifier? If not, now may be a great time to invest! HEPA air purifiers and filters are excellent tools that can lessen the load on your AC unit.

Naturally, standalone air purifiers aren’t your only option. You can also choose to install an in-unit air purifier. These will filter out contaminants within your HVAC system continuously.

However, in-unit purifiers can be challenging to keep clean. As a result, you may end up investing more in AC maintenance services over time.

For this reason, purchasing a standalone air purifier (or several, one for each room) could be the smarter and more affordable decision.

You can access the filters of these machines quite quickly, making them easy to maintain. But, of course, air purifiers and filter changes alone won’t result in a clean AC system.

3. Keep the Condenser Unit Clear

Unless you have a ductless AC system, there’s like a condenser unit attached to your home. For some, this unit may be unreachable. After all, some urban areas only allow for rooftop condenser units.

However, if you can access your system’s condenser unit, you should do so. Keeping this unit clean and debris-free is one of the best ways to improve your system’s performance.

These components often attract dead twigs, fallen leaves, and rot-loving insects. They can fill with natural debris throughout the year, making your AC work doubly hard to provide clean, cool air.

Before working on the unit, make sure to shut it off completely. Otherwise, you may injure yourself on the unit’s spinning blades. Once it’s shut down, you can remove the sidewalls and toss away any debris.

Remove any weeds, plants, or objects sitting near your condenser unit (within one or two feet). They will block airflow into the unit, forcing your system to use more energy to produce cool or warm air.

4. Clean the Condenser Unit

After the condenser unit is shut off, gently scrub away any set-on mold or dirt. If possible, use a garden hose to wash away hardened grime.

It’s also a great idea to straighten any crooked or bent fins along the exterior walls of the unit. These fins allow air to flow through the unit. When they’re obstructed or malformed, the unit can’t work effectively.

5. Limit Interior Pollutants

Limiting interior pollutants is an easy way to keep your AC system clean and working effectively. This means being careful in the kitchen, using non-toxic cleaning products, and quitting smoking.

It’s also crucial to keep your home clean by vacuuming and dusting regularly. Adopting these good habits can not only help your HVAC stay clean. They can also help you live a healthier and longer life!

6. Clean Well and Often

An excellent way to keep your AC running well is to clean your home often. The more often you remove dust and dirt from your home’s interior, the fewer organic contaminants there are clogging up your ductwork!

Still, it’s crucial to use household cleaning products that won’t add pollutants to your air. These include bleach and ammonia-based products, which are commonly used to clean bathrooms and kitchens.

If possible, use a natural alternative that won’t leach potentially toxic chemicals into the air.

Lemon juice, baking soda, and vinegar are some excellent options. Castile soaps (made with essential oils and olive oil) are also gentle, non-toxic cleaning solutions.

7. Invest in HVAC Cleaning Services

Sometimes, you need professional assistance to keep your AC system running as it should. There’s no shame in this! Professional HVAC cleaning services are a wise investment that can help you enjoy cleaner air.

Most homeowners should schedule an HVAC service at least once per year. A team of technicians can spot early signs of damage, helping guide you through the repair and maintenance process.

But HVAC cleaners primarily use commercial equipment to suction out any dirt, lint, or debris within your system’s ductwork. This deep cleaning helps your unit run more efficiently and effectively.

Naturally, a deep HVAC cleaning service can also help you breathe a little easier in your home. It may also reduce the pressure on your air purifier!

AC Cleaning Made Easy

By following these AC cleaning tips and tricks, you’ll be able to keep your HVAC system in tip-top shape! But, of course, even the best-cared-for AC units break down over time.

That said, regular maintenance can extend the life of your HVAC system. Even better, taking care of your air conditioning system is a great way to enjoy cleaner, safer interior air.

If you enjoyed this article, be sure to check out our related home and health articles now!

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