If your home is equipped with a central air conditioning system or heat pump, regular service by an experienced HVAC service technician is important for efficient operation of the system.  Having the system professionally serviced in the spring and fall will keep it in peak operating condition. Servicing a central air conditioning system requires special skills and equipment so a complete service should be handled by a professional HVAC technician.

One thing the homeowner can do between service calls is to keep the coils clean and free of debris.   Good air flow across both the outdoor condenser coil and the indoor evaporator coil is essential for efficient operation of a central air conditioning system. Keeping the coils clean will not only reduce your energy bills by allowing the system to work efficiently, but since the system does not have to work as hard it will last longer and have less frequent breakdowns.

Start by turning off power to the system.  Inspect the outdoor unit and make sure there are two or three feet of space around the unit to allow good airflow.  Keep plants and shrubs trimmed back and remove any tools or materials stored around the unit.

Carefully remove the cabinet and clean out any leaves, grass clippings, and other debris.  If the coils are dirty, carefully brush off the debris with a broom or soft bristle brush but be very careful not to bend or damage the soft aluminum fins.

Regularly changing your furnace filter will help keep the evaporator coils clean, but over time they can accumulate dust and debris.  If necessary, clean the coils using a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment. Again, be very careful not to bend or damage the aluminum fins.  If you notice any damage to the coils, have them checked out by your HVAC technician.

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