How To Clean Your HVAC System, Pt. 1

Keeping your HVAC system in proper condition is a vital step in keeping your home comfortable and your energy bill low. As a complex, expansive system, your HVAC has a lot of places for dust, grime, and debris to collect, and cleaning it is a delicate, deliberate process.

But with these easy steps, you can responsibly clean and maintain your unit. Here’s your guide to doing your part as a homeowner to ensure the health of your HVAC system.

Shut Off The Power

First and foremost, shut off the power to your unit before conducting any maintenance tasks. This is vital to ensuring both your personal safety and the health of your unit. Turn off the HVAC system before starting even the smallest task and give it a good amount of time to fully shut down.

Check Your Air Filter

You should change your air filter about once a month, and it should be your first step in cleaning your system. You usually can find the filter on the return vent near your HVAC unit. Regardless of your unit type, it will usually be located within the ductwork nearest to your HVAC unit. Conduct your first replacement at the beginning of the cold months and do so at the first of every month for the remainder of the winter.

Exterior Condenser or Compressor

Let’s start with your exterior condenser or compressor. First, check for any visible grime or debris. After that, it’s time to clean your fan. Use a screwdriver or wrench to carefully remove the fan cade or grill at the top of the unit. Inspect the unit for leaves, debris, or dirt buildup. Next, clean the fins of your fan. You can do this with either a shop vacuum or a hose. Just run it over each fin to eliminate grime and dirt. Under no circumstances should you use a pressure washer—this can severely damage the unit.

Next, inspect the fins of the fan for damage or bending. Over time, misshaping can add up to a much higher energy bill. You can easily smooth these by hand or with a butter knife. Be sure to re-fasten the cage securely after you’re done.

Cleaning an exterior unit doesn’t stop there. Go around the unit and look for debris like sticks, leaves, growth, dirt, or rocks. Clear away anything that looks like it might be an obstruction.

If you need assistance cleaning or maintaining your unit, or if you’re interested in updating your system, our team of professionals have the experience to resolve any HVAC issue. Contact us today to begin protecting your home.

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