It is difficult to imagine the life of a modern person without such necessary household appliances as a refrigerator, TV, computer, washing machine and, of course, air conditioning. Air conditioning is an integral part of people's lives in almost all regions. It allows you to hide from the sultry heat, warm up in the cold, dry and clean the humid air in the apartment. But for the high-quality operation of any equipment, it is necessary to observe the elementary rules of operation. One of the main rules is regular and timely cleaning of the air conditioner.
An air conditioner is a heating and cooling system that drives huge masses of air through itself. At the same time, on the walls of the air duct, on the lattice of the indoor unit, a huge amount of dust, dirt, small specks accumulates. The external unit can become clogged with sprigs, dry leaves, poplar fluff, pollen. A mold or a fungus can appear in the air conditioner tubes, which can grow and damage the technical unit itself. To avoid this, you need time to engage in cleaning activities.
How to understand that the air conditioner needs to be cleaned
As a rule, cleaning the air conditioner should be done prophylactically, a couple of times a year. This is usually done during the change of seasons, before preparing for winter or summer. However, some signs may be an indication that your device urgently needs technical inspection.
- If the air conditioner became poorly perform its functions. For example, if you set the cooling temperature to +20 degrees, and in fact the air conditioner does not cool the room to the desired level. That is, just does not "pull." This is because the pollution blocks the flow of air and prevents the device from operating at full power.
- The air conditioner needs cleaning if you notice that it has become very noisy to work. Contaminated grids block the normal flow of air and the device tries to increase the power of its work. In comparison, you can bring a vacuum cleaner. If you partially close the tube through which the vacuum cleaner is drawing in air, it will begin to buzz heavily. If the air conditioner began to work much more loudly, it means that it should be cleaned immediately. Further operation may result in damage.
- Sometimes when you turn on the air conditioner there is an unpleasant smell. This suggests that the drainage system is clogged with fungus and mold. This can be very dangerous. Spores of the fungus are very harmful to health, especially if there are asthmatics, allergies, children or the elderly in the house. Sometimes when you turn on the device you can smell the burning. This is a clear sign that dust and pollution have fallen on the engine. If nothing is burned out, it is necessary to thoroughly clean the air conditioner.
- According to the specifications, condensate can flow only from the external unit. If condensate flows out of the indoor unit, then this is a direct path to technical inspection and cleaning.
- If the air conditioner is clogged, it increases the power to cope with the set temperature. In this connection the consumed electric power increases. If you suddenly noticed that the light bills began to increase for no apparent reason, you should check all household appliances, and air conditioning first.
How to clean the indoor unit air conditioner yourself
Before you clean the air conditioner yourself at home, you need to find instructions for the device and carefully study it. Consider how to remove the air conditioner cover, how to remove the filters. Only then can you begin to clean the air conditioner.
- Pre-lay a newspaper or unused paper under the appliance. If cleaning is done for the first time after long work, there may be a lot of debris and dust. The mat will protect the floor or carpet from dirt. Do not forget to turn off the device from the power supply.
- First carefully remove the air conditioner cover. Depending on the model, it can be attached with bolts or simply snaps.
- Then gently pull out the filters. They are easily removed. They should be soaked in warm, soapy water. When the dirt is dampened, the mesh can be washed with a sponge. If during the operation of the air conditioner you feel an unpleasant smell, most likely, a fungus or mold has settled in the system. In this case, it is necessary to use antibacterial agents for washing filters. Add some potassium permanganate, alcohol, furatsilin or a special antifungal agent that you can buy at the hardware store. So you protect your device from re-infection.
- Screen filters can not be dried near the battery or using a hair dryer. They are quite thin and from the stream of hot air can simply be deformed. In this case, they will be unsuitable for further service and you will have to buy new mesh.
- In most models, in addition to mesh filters, there are also pocket filters. They can not be washed. If the pocket filter is clogged, you just need to change it. A similar filter can be purchased at any hardware store.
- The rotary fan is also subject to cleaning. It should be carefully removed and wiped its blades with a damp cloth. After that, the component part is mounted in place.
- The heat exchanger can be cleaned with a vacuum cleaner. Carefully vacuum every corner of the unit to remove dust. If you can not clean any narrow areas, use a dry thin brush.
- During the procedure, pay attention to the heat exchanger housing. If rust was found on one of its parts, it indicates freon leakage. In this case, contact the service center specialists.
- After cleaning all parts of the indoor unit, the components must be thoroughly dried and put in place.
How to clean the air conditioner outdoor unit
The external unit of the air conditioner does not need such frequent cleaning as the interior. In addition, often the external unit is located on the wall and it is very difficult to get close to it. This requires a ladder or climbing equipment. Cleaning the outdoor unit involves cleaning large debris stuck in the fan blades. After removing the cover, the surface of the device must be wiped from dust with a rag or vacuumed of hard-to-reach areas. To do this, it is most convenient to use special narrow nozzles on the tube of a vacuum cleaner. To prevent water from getting on the electrical parts of the air conditioner during wet cleaning, they should be covered with foil.
The radiator plates can be cleaned using strong water pressure. To do this, you can use a hose, a shower or a special device for washing machines that supplies water with a directed stream.
Remember that cleaning the external unit is not so frequent, but much more important. If you leave the indoor unit dirty, it can lead to deterioration of air quality, but if you do not clean the external (main) unit in time, it can lead to device failure. This is due to the fact that the motor overheats from the increased power and eventually, it burns out.
How to clean the drainage system of the air conditioner
Cleaning the indoor and outdoor units - this is not a complete set of measures to clean the air conditioner from dust and dirt. Most dangerous pests can live in the drainage system. A mold, fungus, tick, as well as many infections can live in the tubes through which condensate flows. If they are not cleaned for a long time, they can become clogged with dirt and clogged. If this happens, the condensate will flow directly from the indoor unit into the apartment.
To clean the tubes, they must be removed. After that, a powerful stream of water is passed through it, which washes out all the pollution. To protect against bacteria, antibacterial agents should be added to water.
Remember that the complete assembly of equipment occurs only after the complete drying of all its components. After cleaning, turn on the device in the network and make sure that it works properly.
In retreat from the topic I would like to tell you about the importance of timely cleaning the air conditioner from dust, germs and infections. In 1977, at the Congress of American Legionnaires, one unpleasant pattern was discovered. After attending the event, some people got sick with a strange disease, which resembled pneumonia in symptoms. People cough and die. After a long study, it was discovered that the cause of all was air conditioning. The old device, which has never been cleansed, has become an ideal place for the life and reproduction of pathogenic bacteria.
Subsequently, the infectious microorganism was found and named Legionella, in honor of the unfortunate events that he was to blame. Warm and dry air was the perfect environment for legionella. And when the conditioner turned on, the bacteria quietly circulated in the air, getting into the respiratory systems and infecting organisms. People fell ill with legionellosis, which was hard cured at the time. That is why it is so important to clean the devices that you have entrusted the most important thing - ensuring the quality of indoor air.
Operation and seasonal conditioning
In order for the equipment to serve you for a long time and efficiently, you need to follow simple rules of operation.
- Clean the external unit of the air conditioner at least once a year. Cleaning of internal filters should be carried out more often, every 3-4 weeks.
- If you use the device frequently, if the indoor air is polluted, it means that filters should be cleaned at least every two weeks. The frequency of the procedure depends on the floor of the residence and the installation of air conditioning. It is proved that the higher the floor, the less dust and litter in the air.
- Self cleaning is good, but do not forget about professional technical inspection. If necessary, the specialist will refill the air conditioner with freon, clean the hard-to-reach areas of the device, inspect the working condition of the equipment.
- Be sure to prepare the air conditioner for the summer and winter seasons. Before the summer season, cleaning should be carried out, and before the winter, cleaning of drainage systems should be added to cleaning. If in your region the frost drops below 30 degrees, it means that the external pipes may freeze. This should be foreseen.
Contaminated air conditioning - a high probability of damage to the device, the risk to health, excessive energy consumption, as well as the deterioration of the equipment itself. For self-cleaning do not need special skills. This can be done at home without the help of professionals and without paying for their services.