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7 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Cleaning Your Air Conditioner

7 common mistakes to avoid when cleaning your air conditioner

Your air conditioning system affects the indoor air quality in your home, and as time goes on, dirt and debris build up in the filters and the AC unit itself. 

Learning how to clean an air conditioner can be straightforward, but there are some common AC mistakes to avoid so you don’t damage the unit or reduce its efficiency. Avoiding these mistakes will prolong the lifespan of your air conditioning unit. 

1. Using Harsh Chemicals

One of the most common mistakes people make during the cleaning process is using harsh or abrasive chemical cleaning products, which can damage the coils and other components. Stick to mild detergents and specialised AC cleaners.

2. Neglecting Regular Cleaning 

Irregular cleaning can lead to significant dirt buildup, reducing the efficiency of your AC. If you forget to clean components of the air conditioner like the air filters, air vents, condenser coils or drain pans, parts of the unit can overheat, cause bad smells or stop working altogether. Set a regular cleaning schedule to keep all parts in good condition.

3. Forgetting the Outdoor Unit

If you have a split system, the outdoor condenser unit requires proper maintenance so your indoor air conditioner is in optimal condition. Forgetting about your outdoor unit will cause it to become clogged, causing the unit to work harder ultimately affecting your energy costs. Clean it regularly to remove debris and ensure proper airflow.

4. Using High Water Pressure

When cleaning an air conditioner, particularly the outside unit, we see homeowners repeatedly using high-pressure water tools to clean the inside and outside. Many think this will clean more effectively but can cause significant damage.

High-pressure water can bend the delicate fins on the coils, obstructing airflow and efficiency. It can also damage other components like the fan and electrical connections, leading to costly repairs and reduced lifespan of the unit. When rinsing coils, especially condenser ones, use gentle water pressure.

5. Ignoring Bent Fins

If you get a bent fin in your unit, address it quickly. Bent fins can disrupt the cooling process, forcing the system to work overtime and potentially causing further damage. Use a fin comb to carefully straighten any bent fins and maintain optimal performance.

6. Forgetting to Reassemble Properly

After cleaning, make sure all parts and panels are securely reassembled. Loose components can cause vibrations and noises, and unsecured parts can shift and cause wear or blockage. 

To avoid these problems, double-check that all screws, bolts and clips are tightened and in their correct positions. Taking the time to reassemble your air conditioner correctly can save you from needing to call a technician for AC repair

7. Skipping Safety Gear

Always wear gloves and safety glasses to protect yourself from dust, debris, and cleaning solutions. Gloves protect your hands from sharp edges and chemicals, while safety glasses shield your eyes from particles or splashes that might cause injury. HVAC technicians always wear proper safety gear to clean your air conditioner safely and effectively.

Choose GLP HVAC Services for AC Maintenance

If you’re worried about cleaning your AC yourself, it’s best to leave it to the experts. Improper cleaning can lead to damage and inefficiency, costing you more in the long run. Trusting professionals means that your unit is handled with care and precision.

For reliable air conditioning maintenance, get in touch with the team at GLP. Regular maintenance, at least once a year, helps prevent costly repairs so your unit runs efficiently. Contact us today to schedule your service and keep your air conditioner in top condition.

AC Cleaning FAQs

How long do you wait to turn on the AC after cleaning?

Wait about 30 minutes to an hour after cleaning your air conditioner before turning it back on. This allows any residual moisture to evaporate and ensures the unit is completely dry.

Is it OK to spray water on your air conditioner?

Yes, it’s okay to spray water on your air conditioner, especially on the outside unit, to clean off dirt and debris. However, use gentle water pressure to avoid damaging the fins or other components.

Is it okay to spray bleach on AC coils?

No, it’s not recommended to spray bleach on AC coils. Bleach can be too harsh and may damage the coils. Instead, use a cleaner designed for AC coils to ensure safe and effective cleaning.

How often should you clean your air conditioner?

You should clean the air conditioner at least once a year. Regular cleaning helps maintain efficiency and prevents potential problems. More frequent cleaning might be necessary for units in dusty or high-pollen areas.

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