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Old 08-01-2022, 12:45 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Clean your AC coils

My AC has not been keeping up with our 100 degree days. I have the thermostat set to 78 degrees, and it will come on around 3pm and not shut off until after midnight, losing ground in the late afternoon with temperature rising to about 81 degrees.

I figured the AC was just severely undersized for the house, but decided to tear into it a bit more to see how it worked and if there were any obstructions. Evaporator coil looked good, and there was no filter immediately before it, so the only filters are in the returns it seems.

Condenser coil outside looked ok to me, but I hadn't cleaned it in the 3 years I've been here, so I took a hose to it while running. Blasted water through the fan at the top forcing water through the radiator from the inside out. Didn't seem particularly dirty to me, but my power usage told another story. Electrical consumption dropped 1,000 watts. It climbed back up slightly but then has been maintaining for days now at about 800 watts less than before I cleaned it out.

Never thought I could get 20% efficiency improvement with 5 minutes of work. Should have done this 3 years ago.

Before hosing off

Today I took the fan off and did a more thorough cleaning using my Ryobi driver to take the 4 screws off, Ryobi 40v blower to blast the bulk of the leaves and debris out, Ryobi cordless vac to get the remaining dirt and sand, and Ryobi sprayer with dish soap to soak the radiator.

Rinsed it all off with the hose and put everything back together. Didn't seem to make much more difference than my crude method of blasting it with a hose while running. Probably better to clean 2x more frequently with the quick method than once a year thoroughly.

Anyhow, put this in your calendar as annual maintenance. Wonder if this is important for window units too, as I've never tried cleaning one. No need for them anymore for me, so I can't easily test the theory.

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Last edited by redpoint5; 08-01-2022 at 12:55 AM..
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Old 08-01-2022, 08:50 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Donít forget to thoroughly clean the air handlerís Centrifugal blower fan blades also. As even the tiniest amount of dirt on the edges or in the valleys of the blade can and will significantly affect air volume blown. This is true for any type fan blade. Barely visible dirt can reduce air volume by 10%, heavy deposits significantly more. Itís best to remove the blower fan housing from the unit where possible and use soap, a stiff brush and a garden hose. Most blower fan housings are only held in with a few screws making service easy.

This applies to any fan. ( ceiling, desktop, box, etc. etc.)

Keep Ďem clean and enjoy the breezeÖ




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