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    How to Tune Up Central and Window Air Conditioners

    By By Benjamin Hardy
    July 29, 2014, 7:57:34 AM EDT

    A well-maintained air conditioner will run more efficiently, saving you money on utility bills.

    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.


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    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. Turn off power at the panel. 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. Use a rake to clean the area around 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. Use a knife to straighten the fins. 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. Don’t use too much water pressure or you may damage the cooling fins. Wash the fins with a brush and soapy water. Step 5: Remove the old air filter. Inside the house, replace the air filter by removing the cover in the ventilation duct and pulling out the old filter. Remove the old filter and inspect for dirt and signs of wear.

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