Part 4: How to clean my AC unit filter
Meet the expert behind this four-part series!
Supplies: Safety glasses, clothes (you don’t mind getting dirty), pair of gloves, water hose with spray nozzle
Why it's important: Keeping up on the maintenance of your household appliances not only saves you money on energy costs, but it saves on the wear and tear of the appliances. You’ll see some of the items that are pointed out not only save you money on energy, wear and tear, but also save you from a catastrophic failure such as a house fire.
OUTSIDE: There are two parts to most residential heating and cooling units. The portion that sits outside is called a condenser. This can be a costly portion of your energy bill and expensive to replace if not kept clean.
STEP 1: Visually inspect for any grass, leaves, or debris restricting airflow through the coils. If any, they can be swept off with a soft bristle brush.
STEP 2: If you see the coils have dirt buildup, first shut off the condensing unit and then spray down the coil with a garden hose, then wait for 15 minutes and turn the condensing unit back on.
STEP 3: If the coil has oil or grease buildup, you’ll need to use a cleaning chemical that is specialized for washing condensers. Anytime you are using a cleaning solution, keep safety in mind and wear eye protection along with gloves to protect your skin.
INSIDE: The portion that sits inside the home (furnace) is where you will need to check the filter and replace it periodically. Replacing HVAC filters is essential and one of the tasks that are often overlooked.
STEP 1: The filter will have a size written on it and can be found at most hardware stores.
STEP 2: This filter will generally be found close to the furnace and easy to access. You have to shut the furnace power off
Bonus tip: Keep the refrigerator temperature at 40° F. The freezer temperature should be 0° F. Check temperatures periodically. Appliance thermometers are the best way of knowing these temperatures and are generally inexpensive.
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