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How to properly maintain and clean your air conditioning unit

With UK summers predicted to get hotter over the coming century regardless of decarbonisation, sales of air conditioners have increased by almost 40% since 2012, according to Statista figures.

While the number of air conditioning units is nowhere near the number used in the likes of the US, air con is no longer just for the car. If you’ve got an air conditioner or are considering getting one though, maintenance and cleaning is important in keeping what can be a sizable investment ticking along for years to come. To help, here’s how to keep yours working its best.

How to clean your air conditioning filter              

Air conditioning units Like these available from RS, not only cool your home, but they also filter the air as its enters the system. These filters will become clogged and dirty over time, and as they do, the components within the air conditioner – the motor in particular – can be put under increased strain and operate inefficiently. What’s more, if this air bypasses the filter, it can end up depositing dirt in other components, like the evaporator coil, which are much more expensive to replace.

Before you clean your filter, read the product documentation to ascertain whether the filter needs replacing, not cleaning. If it can be cleaned, it’s likely you’ll need to physically remove the dust without the use of water, as water can lead to the growth of mould, harming the unit further.

How to clean your air conditioner coils  

Despite filters preventing most dust from entering the air conditioning unit, some can still make their way to the coils. If these get dirty, the system will become less efficient at cooling, become warmer during use, and be more costly to run and maintain.

To clean them, it’s important to hire a professional if you haven’t done the task before and are unsure what to do. Poor cleaning can lead to damaging the system, and it’s likely you’ll need specialised equipment and strong chemicals to ensure an effective clean.

How to clean coil fins

Like coils, the coin fins that run between coils also require cleaning from time to time. To clean them, use a fin coil to remove dirt without bending or breaking them. Again, if you’re unsure what you’re doing, hire a professional that does.

How to clean drain channels

The drain channels pass through condensed water from the unit, helping them reduce humidity levels in the air. If these clog up, the unit won’t function effectively, so consider running a thin wire through them. Again, a professional will know how to do this best.

Cleaning around the air conditioner

Take care to make sure the window around the air conditioner is clean and free of debris, and that there isn’t any vegetation in the vicinity which could find its way into the unit. The air conditioner seal should also be checked occasionally – if it has perished, your home won’t get as cool as warm outside air will find its way into your property.

Do you own an air conditioner? Do you maintain it yourself or would you rather a professional work their magic? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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