Just because your AC is blowing hot air doesn't mean that there's something seriously wrong with it. Quite often, the cause of the problem is an accumulation of dirt in some part of the system. This means that every AC owner should know one or two things about cleaning their air conditioning system.
There are certain types of cleaning that may require air conditioning services; however, there is plenty that you can still do before you pick up the phone.
You can use a vacuum cleaner for this, or you can just remove the debris by hand. Start by lifting the fan cage off the unit. You'll need a wrench or screwdriver to remove the fasteners. Once you have access to the interior, remove the foreign material inside, which can be anything from leaves to sand.
Clean the Fins
Remove the outer cover of the fins and clean the fins using a brush and vacuum combination. If there is a build-up of dirt, spray the fins from the inside out using a garden hose. Ensure the stream is gentle to avoid damaging the fins. Avoid using pressure washers since these will almost certainly cause some damage.
In case the fins are particularly dirty, shop for a commercial fin cleaner. You can check any home improvement store, or you can find out what your manufacturer recommends.
Straighten the AC's Fins
The fins might also become bent over time. This can lower the systems cooling efficiency. There are fin combs that you can buy. Ensure the one you get matches the spacing of the fins in your AC system. The fin comb fits into the space between fins and can be used to either comb out debris or straighten the AC's fins.
Some people also use a butter knife for this purpose. However, care should be taken not to damage the tubing inside the fins.
Clean the Evaporator Coil
To access the evaporator coil, consult your user manual to see which screws you need to remove. A soft brush is a good tool to use to remove dust from the coil. Commercial coil cleaner spray turns into a foam which will then drip slowly into the drain pan. You should also clean the drain pan using a solution of soap, a little bleach, and hot water.
To ensure the drain remains clear, pour a solution of half bleach and half water down the drain. After that, place a drain pan tablet in the pan to prevent algae growth. For more information, contact a company like Nathan's Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc.