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How to Keep Your AC in Good Working Condition in Santa Clarita

AC ConditionerSummer is here, and for much of the nation record-breaking temperatures are occurring. If you haven't already done so, now is the time to service your air conditioner. While there are some basic maintenance tasks that can be done by the homeowner, a service professional is best qualified to tackle air conditioning repair or deep maintenance.

As in any repair to an electrical device, the first step is to disconnect the air conditioner from its power source. If your air conditioning unit is hardwired into the home's grid, you may need to shut off the circuit breaker.

Remove the cover on the front of the unit and the filter below. Depending on the type of air conditioner, there may be clips or screws holding the cover and filter in place. The filter will need to be cleaned. If it is very dirty, you may need to soak it in hot water for a few minutes to loosen soil. Otherwise, it can be vacuumed or wiped clean with a rag or soft scrub brush. You can also replace the filter with a new one of the matching size if it is in poor condition.

The next step is to clean the coil. You can carefully brush off any loose dirt or dust. If there is a lot of built-up dirt, there are specialized cleaning solutions available at most home improvement stores and lumber yards. Read the packaging carefully, since some products are meant only for outdoor use. Some people prefer to use plain water or a 50/50 bleach/water solution to clean the coil.

Working in the coil area requires care. The fins are thin and can be easily damaged or bent. If you use a foaming or spray-on cleaning solution, it’s important to only spray the coil. All liquids need to be kept off electrical wires and all other components inside. Some cleaners are harsh or toxic, so precautions should be taken. Use a mask, goggles and gloves when working with a harsh cleaner. You may also need to open windows due to the fumes.

There are two ways to rinse the coil after the cleaner has had time to work. You can gently pour warm water over the coil. The rinse water will go into the drip pan. Never leave the cleaner on the coil for more than 15 minutes as it can damage them. The other method involves running the unit on its coldest setting for about 30 minutes. This will create condensation which will wash away the cleaner and debris. Depending on how dirty the coil is, this step may need to be repeated one or more times.

If the unit doesn't cool, it likely has a leak in the coolant lines or other problems. It is best to contact an air conditioning repair specialist. The technician will have the expertise to track down the issue. Since the unit may need coolant added, the professional can safely deal with this or other issues.