5 Air Conditioning Cleaning Mistakes to Avoid

Air Conditioning Cleaning

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Many people still don’t understand the importance of regular air conditioner cleaning and maintenance, but there are actually many reasons why you should get into the habit of it. Among many other benefits, your AC will also be able to work properly and efficiently for a much longer period of time. However, part of properly cleaning your AC unit is being aware of a few common mistakes to avoid. Here are some that you should look out for!

1. Not Cleaning Regularly

The worst thing you can do is wait too long in between each air conditioner cleaning session. When you don’t clean your AC frequently, different impurities like dust, dirt, debris, allergens, and other particles can quickly accumulate inside your unit. Here are some things that can happen when enough contaminants build up inside:

  • Decreased Efficiency: Dust and dirt can cling onto crucial components inside your air conditioner and prevent them from doing their jobs properly, forcing your air conditioner to work that much harder to sustain your preferred temperature.
  • Increased Energy Consumption: When the operation of your air conditioner is compromised, your unit will have to consume much more electricity to compensate for this inefficiency. This will lead to much higher electricity bills at the end of each month.
  • Reduced Longevity: With all of the increased stress and strain that are being placed on your AC, it will experience much more daily wear and tear, which will significantly reduce its overall lifespan.

While there are some AC cleaning tasks that you can definitely do on your own, it’s still best to have your unit professionally cleaned, as this will ensure that everything is being thoroughly taken care of. An HVAC technician is well-versed in all things air conditioning and will be able to give each crucial component the cleaning that it deserves. If you want your unit to get professionally cleaned, visit Luce’s Service page on Aircon Servicing.

2. Skipping Air Filter Cleaning

The air filter is one of the most important parts of your air conditioner because it removes all the dirt and impurities from the air, ensuring that only clean air is released into your space. However, the filter can collect a significant amount of dirt and become clogged, especially when left uncleaned for long periods. Aside from pushing your air conditioner to work harder, there’s also the risk of these contaminants infiltrating the cooled air and being released.

That’s why you must regularly check your unit’s air filter and clean it when needed. Here’s how you can clean it:

  • Locate the Air Filter: After unplugging your unit and allowing it to cool down, take the cover off and carefully remove the filter. If you can’t find it, consult the user manual for your AC.
  • Remove Loose Debris: You can remove any loose debris and particles by using either a vacuum cleaner or a soft brush.
  • Soak in Soapy Water: Fill a sink or a bucket with enough water before mixing in a few drops of mild dish soap to create some soapy water. Then, let your air filter soak in the solution for a few minutes, which will help soften any stubborn particles.
  • Start Scrubbing: Use either a soft cloth or sponge to carefully scrub away the dirt and debris from your air filter.
  • Rinse and Dry: Once everything’s been cleaned off, rinse it under some running water and let it fully dry before putting it back inside your unit.

3. Ignoring Drainage Issues

In case you didn’t know, your air conditioner actually produces a bit of condensation and moisture during the cooling process, but this is often collected by a drain line. However, with this line being exposed to the outdoor environment, it may become clogged with different debris. Things like leaves, twigs, and branches can lodge themselves into your drain line and prevent the moisture from draining properly, which can lead to mold and mildew growth.

Here’s how you can better care for your drain line:

  • Regular Inspections: Make sure that you make it a habit to check your unit’s drain line every now and then to see whether or not it needs to be cleaned out.
  • Remove Blockages: If you find any dirt or debris inside the drain line, power down your air conditioner and use either a wet/dry vacuum or an air compressor to remove any blockages.
  • Disinfect: Combine equal parts of warm water and white vinegar or bleach to create a disinfectant solution. Pour this down the drain line and let it sit for around 30 minutes to an hour. Then, use a pipe brush or cleaning brush to thoroughly scrub the inside of the drain line before rinsing it out with some clean water.

4. Neglecting the Outdoor Unit

Some air conditioners come with an outdoor unit that is heavily exposed to the elements of the outdoor environment all year round. This means the chances of it becoming clogged with dirt, debris, or foliage are very high. If this happens, the airflow inside your unit will be restricted, which can negatively affect your AC’s overall performance.

Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Regular Cleaning: Any dirt, dust, or debris on the outdoor unit should be brushed away and removed to keep the outdoor unit functioning properly.
  • Clear Blockages: One of the reasons why you should regularly check your outdoor unit is so that you can clear away any leaves, twigs, or branches that may have built up.
  • Provide Shading: When the outdoor unit is placed under the extreme heat of direct sunlight, it’ll be forced to work much harder and consume more energy to provide adequate cooling. Keep your unit working efficiently by providing some shade for your outdoor unit.

5. Not Cleaning Air Vents and Registers

While it’s important to clean the internal parts of your AC system, don’t forget to pay special attention to the exterior as well. With all the dust and debris floating around in your space, some of it can end up accumulating on your unit’s air vents and registers. When your air conditioner is up and running, these impurities can also be blown around and scattered across your environment, reducing the indoor air quality and posing potential health problems.

As a part of your regular AC cleaning routine, make sure that you also take the time to either vacuum or wipe down these parts to keep the air in your space clean and hygienic.

While individuals still underestimate the importance of regular air conditioner maintenance, it’s an essential part of maintaining your unit’s longevity and efficiency, as well as your overall health and well-being. By understanding these common cleaning mistakes, you’ll be able to avoid them completely and keep your air conditioner running at its best.