September 22, 2006, Newsletter Issue #6: Clean and Maintain Your Central Air Conditioner

Tip of the Week

Central air conditioners, like any appliance, sometimes need regular maintenance to perform at peak efficiently. The system may need to be tweaked or cleaned, and not require major repairs. You can do some of the simple maintenance yourself. Keep your owner's manual handy, and follow the manufacturer's instructions. Here are a few simple steps to remember for optimum performance:
- To clean your central air conditioner, you need to turn off power to the unit. There should be a switch outdoors next to the compressor.
- Next, vacuum or use a soft brush to rid the outdoor coil of dirt, debris and grass clippings.
- Inspect the filters on your air handler, or furnace. If they look dirty, you will need to replace or clean them, based on the manufacturer's instructions. The air handler moves heated or cooled air through the ductwork of your home.
- Clean and oil the indoor furnace fan, or air handler fan. Also clean the fan on the outdoor unit. Again, check the manufacturer's instructions in your owner's manual.
- Keep furniture and rugs away from the vents to get proper airflow. If airflow is blocked, it can damage the compressor.

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