Make sure that electrical power is disconnected from the air conditioner unit before servicing. Window units should be unplugged; central air units should be turned off at the fuse box. For specifics about servicing your specific air conditioner, always refer to the service manual for instructions and safety warnings.
Step 1: Central Air Conditioning Unit. Shut off power to the unit. For a central air conditioning unit, begin by shutting off power to the unit at the electrical panel. Find the switch for the air conditioning circuit and turn it off.
Step 2: Clean the area around the unit. Central air conditioning systems have units outside the house that work with components inside the house to cool the air. Start by cleaning away any leaves, dirt or debris surrounding the unit.
Step 3: Straighten the fins on the evaporator. Straighten the fins on the evaporator. Bent fins block the free flow of air. You can use the blade of a small rounded knife or you can use a special fin comb available from air conditioner supply houses.
Step 4: Wash and rinse the fins. Wash the fins with a soft brush and soapy water to remove any dirt buildup between the fins. The goal is to have air pass unrestricted through the unit. Once the fins are washed, rinse them clean with a garden hose. Donít use too much water pressure or you may damage the cooling fins.
Step 7: Restore power to the system. With the air conditioner unit cleaned and a new filter in place, the system is ready to be used again. Turn power back on at the electrical panel and enjoy the efficient operation of the tuned-up air conditioning system.
Step 8: Window Air Conditioning Unit. Remove the unit from the window. A window unit requires similar care for tuning up. First, unplug the unit and remove it from the window. Place it outdoors in an area that you will use for cleaning.
Step 12: Inspect and replace the seal around the unit. While replacing the unit in the window, inspect the seal around the frame of the unit. If the seal has become damaged by water or the Sunís rays, or if it is missing, you can replace the original seal or add a seal with insulation foam. Cut the foam to fit the edges and then peel off the paper backing and apply the new foam.