AC Cleaning Checklist for Homeowners & Landlords

With summer fast approaching, we can’t help but consider an air conditioning unit as an important appliance in our homes. After all, we don’t want to compromise the comfort of staying in a cooler place, especially with the warm months advancing swiftly.

ac cleaning

Apartments landlords, in particular, need to check the air conditioning units of the apartments they’re renting out to their clients to make sure they can remain cool and comfortable at all times.

While tenants can report the situation to their landlords, some just ignore them unless the unit has already been broken down. As such, you as a landlord should be proactive in order to avoid spending tons of money on repairs or even a unit replacement

Here’s a cleaning checklist you want to keep in mind at all times.

Replace or Wash Air Filters

You can find different kinds of filters in the market, some of which are washable while others are disposable and may require a replacement when dirty.

Remember that air filters are an integral part of an AC unit. They function as a trap for solid particulates and other pollutants that may be present in the air, a few good examples of which are dust, pollen, smoke, grease, pet danders, molds, and even fungal spores.

These minute materials can easily pass through the mesh where they are trapped.

AC filters prevent such particles from clogging the AC coils and help release better air quality into the air.

Luckily, air filters can be easily replaced or washed depending on your unit’s use. If you want to replace yours, simply follow these steps:

  1. Turn down the thermostat first and plug out the AC unit.
  2. Loosen the screw on the windows of your AC. Set aside and locate the air filter just right behind it.
  3. Simply reach and firmly pull the filter out.
  4. Assess if it should need washing or replacement. Check if it is too dirty and soaked in the dust and if it is, replacing it would be the best option.
  5. Check the correct airflow direction as indicated by the arrow on the air filter.  The arrow should be facing the wall and not towards you.
  6. Return the filter inside, and check that it fits properly.
  7. Return the AC windows and fasten them.

The filters should be replaced every three months to ensure optimal functioning and lower your energy consumption.

You can find different types of air filters depending on the AC unit you are using.  It may be pleated filters, HEPA filters, washable filters, or flat fiberglass filters.

Remember that air filters with higher Minimum Efficiency Reporting Values or MERVs are better; they trap smaller particles than those with lower values. Air Filters with a MERV of 13 or higher are suggested for homes and apartments to maintain good air quality.

Clean the Exterior Condenser or Compressor

An air condenser is the outer part of the AC unit that either collects or releases heat in an AC unit. Over time, dust, soil particles, grass clippings, and small twigs may accumulate inside it, causing it to prevent proper airflow.

You can follow these steps to clean the exterior condenser of your AC unit:

  1. Unplug the unit, then remove the exterior casing.
  2. Spray it with water using a garden hose.
  3. Check for any debris that may have been collected in the vents and carefully take it out.
  4. Vacuum it to ensure that particles are removed properly and completely.
  5. Straighten out the coil fins.
  6. Put back the unit’s casing.

Inspect the Vents and Ductwork

The ducts or passages that carry the air inside an AC system are usually one of the neglected parts when conducting regular maintenance. A blocked or damaged ductwork will cause the unit to work even harder just to circulate air which, in turn, can damage the unit over time.

Apart from that, it also leads to higher energy consumption.

Regular duct inspection should be carried out to prevent costly repairs in the long run. They tend to wear out over time due to coil corrosion, water damage on the condenser, and even pest infestation, which is why you want to check them regularly for any of these issues.

It might be easier to inspect ductworks on residential units with crawl spaces than on bigger apartments and buildings with more complicated ductwork.

Check Refrigerant Tubings

Also called air refrigerant lines or refrigerant pipings, these are typically composed of two lines. There’s the bigger piping or the suction line, the insulated tubing, and the other line responsible for carrying the warm liquid outside the unit.

While cleaning your unit, make sure to watch out for any leaks on the tube, as these may cause the unit to work harder than usual.

Tube leaks and damages are best handled by professional technicians like Direct AC,  especially when refilling them with refrigerant. As such, you want to call for their help whenever you see such an issue occur.

Go Over the Evaporator Coil and Drain Pan

The evaporator coil of an AC unit is responsible for producing cool air. It also absorbs warm air in the surroundings and exchanges heat with the condenser through which the cool air is released.

During cleaning, make sure to check for the presence of any of these issues:

  • Air coming from the AC vents is warm
  • There’s a frequent occurrence of cycles yet it is not cooling the room at all
  • AC does not turn on
  • Presence of a leak near the indoor cooling system
  • Unusual noises
  • Unpleasant smells such as wire burning

Air conditioning units are essential home appliances. Taking care of them by regular maintenance and checkups prevents potential damage that will incur hefty repair costs and even replacements.

With regular maintenance and cleaning, you’ll be able to avoid those issues and make sure that the AC units in your properties will run optimally without causing your utility bills to skyrocket.

Image source: Depositphotos

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