Spring Cleaning Your Air Conditioner

There are very few things that you can do that will pay better dividends than giving your air conditioning system a good spring cleaning. The dividends threefold; summer comfort, lower energy bills and a longer-lasting air conditioner. AC cleaning in Chicago starts with shutting off the power.

There will be an electrical disconnect within sight of the outdoor component. If there isn’t one, then simply shut the power off at the circuit breaker in the main electrical panel in your house.

Central air conditioning is made up from two primary components, the compressor and condenser which are outside the house and the evaporator that sits in a central duct on or in your furnace. These two components are connected by two pipes, one of which will be covered with foam insulation.


The primary chore outside is to make sure the condenser coil is clean. There is a fan inside the condenser which draws air through the fins, as it does this, in invariably draws in dust, dirt, leaves and other debris. When doing AC cleaning in Chicago, this must be removed. It may be worth noting that cleaning the fins on the condenser may have to be done frequently during the summer because dandelion cotton and grass clippings are an all summer threat to reducing the air flow which in turn reduces the efficiency of the system.

Start by using your shop-vacuum to remove all the litter that is sticking to the fins, use a soft brush for this as the fins are very delicate and easy to damage. Clear any tall grass, weeds or bushes that have grown up around the compressor, try to provide at least two feet of clear space. Unscrew the top grill, most compressors have the fan attached to the grill so when you lift the grill off be carefully not to break the electrical leads. Clean the inside of the compressor, while you have access to the fan motor, see if it requires lubrication, if it does a couple of drops of motor oil is sufficient. If you spot any leaks in the coolant tubes do not attempt to tighten them, this is a job for a professional.


Begin the AC cleaning Chicago area by checking the condition of the furnace filter. If it is dirty, then either clean it or replace it, most modern furnaces use a throw-away filter. Make sure the power is turned off. Replace the filter in the correct orientation; this will be marked on the filter.

Open the blower compartment, if there are lubrication points on the motor, a few drops of oil are good enough. Use the shop-vac once again to clean the inside of the blower compartment.

Most systems have a sealed compartment to the evaporator coil. This is located in the main duct of the furnace. The coil is usually cleaned by the professional service technician when he makes his annual call; the best solution is to keep the filter clean which in turn keeps the air clean that flows through it.

The water that condenses on the evaporator coil comes out through a condensate tube, check and make sure it is not plugged by algae or sludge.

For professional AC cleaning in Chicago you are invited to contact ELM Heating & Cooling. Their professional cleaning and 20 point tune-up will ensure that your air conditioning works flawlessly all summer long.


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