About a month ago, when we had some really hot days, I noticed my AC was running more than it should. That concerned me, so I took a look at my condenser unit outside. The coils needed cleaning, so I did, and was rewarded with a more efficient unit, and the knowledge I did something that would extend the life of my air conditioner.
The evaporator coils inside needed some cleaning, but what surprised me was the amount of pollen the filters didn't catch, and had adhered to the coils. Some of the spray cleaner available from the box stores handled the cleaning. With how accessible the coils are, I only had to spray on the cleaner, turn the AC back on, and allow the cleaner to perform its magic on its own. As the coils condensated, the cleaner, and grime, were rinsed into the drain pan.
Since then, I've cleaned both of my sister-in-law's units, which probably will help on their electric bills. The coils were surprisingly dirty, and over time, would have shortened the life of their units, which should last decades, if properly maintained.
So, why am I writing this post? It's to make people aware of how a one hour job can lead to years of more use for an air conditioner. I never knew this, until my years of neglect on a unit lead to an early demise, and an expensive replacement. The task is simple, and the good cleansers are available at any HVAC wholesale store. Even if you pay a technician, the cost is a small percentage of the price of a new AC system.