|Cleaning Your Air Conditioner|
Sat 07/22/06 09:16:41 am
by Mark Bower and Robert Hardy
For the most part the average homeowner IS NOT able to repair their own
air conditioner unit. Many of the repairs will involve removing the freon
and that requires special equipment and you must be licensed to handle the
freon. But a homeowner can keep the condenser and evaporator coils clean
which will help the unit run longer and more efficiently. For the purposes
if this article, we are referring to a split system meaning that the
condenser is located outside and the evaporator (A-coil) is located in the
When cleaning the coils, use a foaming coil cleaner for the outside
condenser, and a non-foaming cleaning for the inside a-coil. The coil
cleaners can generally only be found at hvac or plumbing suppliers.
Cleaning the Condenser
Step 1 - Shut off power to condenser and check to be sure it is
Step 2 - Mix some high-foaming coil cleaner with water (per
instructions) and pour into a sprayer and saturate the coils of the
condenser. Spray the coils from the outside only.
Step 3 - Let the coil cleaner soak for 10-15 minutes while you
remove the top part of the condensing unit with the fan attached. On some
units you may have to remove the whole top. Cover with plastic bags
anything electrical that may get wet.
Step 4 - After 15 minutes, saturate the coils again from the
Step 5 - Let coil cleaner soak for 5 more minutes.
Step 6 - With a garden hose inside the condenser, spray the
coils so the water spurts to the outside. Never spray the coils from the
outside as the water may pack the gunk tighter into the coils rather than
pushing it out.
Step 7 - Repeat until your rinse water runs clear through the
Cleaning the Evaporator (A-coil)
On the inside of your home in the furnace
is the evaporator -- also known as the 'air-conditioning coil' or 'A-coil'
because it's shaped normally like an 'A.' The A-coil must be kept clean as
air from the blower must be able to freely flow through it during both the
heating and cooling season. To clean your A-coil, follow these
Step 1 - Carefully remove the panel to expose the A-coil. Don't
damage any a/c or gas lines that may be nearby.
Step 2 - Vacuum the dust from the coils (below). Stubborn dirt
can be loosened with a toilet brush. The flat-style toilet bowl brush
works best because it fits better along the bottom. Work carefully as the
fins on the A-coil will bend easily.
Step 3 - Spray non-foaming A-coil cleaner on the coils
(below). Do this step only if it's warm out and you can run the air
conditioner for 30 minutes or more. Before spraying, put on gloves,
goggles and a mask. Open all windows as the fumes may be strong. Mix the
A-coil cleaner according to the instructions and pour into a garden
sprayer. Spray the coils until saturated.
Step 4 - Put the cover back on and turn on the a/c as
soon as possible. Let the a/c run for at least 20-30 minutes as the
condensation must flush the cleaner from the coil. Do not flush the
A-coils with water. If the coil cleaner isn't removed right away, it may
damage the coils. It may take several cycles to totally rinse the cleaner
from the coils. After the first long cycle, normal cycles are fine.
A note about coil cleaners. Some cleaners are designed only for the
condenser coils, some are designed for the evaporator coils, and some are
designed for both. The cleaners should be non-acid. Again, use high
foaming for the outside condenser, and non-foaming for the inside
Also, if the smell of the cleaner bothers you, mix a 50/50 solution of
water and bleach and spray it on the coils as well. The bleach will
eliminate most, if not all of the smell of the coil cleaner. Also pouring
a 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup of the 50-50 solution in the drain pan will also help
the smell, but is for the drainline and keeps it clean of bacteria, germs
and odors. It also helps prevent clogs.
The Manual for
Manufactured Home Repair &
"Every winter my roof leaked... We even had a couple manufactured
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owns and operates Aberdeen Mobile Home Repair in
Maureen isn't alone. Hundreds of others have written to
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Bower enjoys the letters he receives regarding his manual. "I
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Tom of Lansing, Michigan, followed the simple instructions on
installing a shut-off valve and saved $75 on a service call. Mary of Churdan, Iowa, writes to say she uses the manual to
keep the repair guys she hires honest, "When I had my home releveled, I sent two different contractors packing
because I knew they weren't doing the job right. This manual has literally saved me
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Bower has updated his manual for 2004. More information was added
regarding additions and porches. "We added details on attaching
porches so they don't leak even if they shift with the seasons. "
says Bower. With high
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"My son and husband
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Bower says many manufactured home owners are do-it-yourselfers, and
he's glad to be able to provide them a tool, The
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Manufactured Housing Repair On-Line
MH Parts Store On-Line MH Parts may not be very pretty...
but when you need them you just can't do with out them. Don't run all over
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Order from our on-line parts store. Everything
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The Manual for Manufactured Home Repair &
Upgrade If your looking for a book
that covers all facets of manufactured home repair, you've found it! This
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able to find. As you would expect from the title, The repair and upgrade techniques described in this
manual are specific to manufactured homes. This book will answer almost
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only does this book show you how to repair and maintain your home, but
also great methods for upgrading it.
FoundationWorkss Advanced foundation
system Designed and engineered for manufactued homes, These
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Finance Your MH Renovation/Repair There
are many loan programs available to MH Owners. Secure the money you need
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Manufactured Housing Yellow Pages / SERVICE
COMPANIES The Yellow Pages is an ever expanding data base
that is growing into one of the richest resources in the world for
locating and contacting companies that participate in, or offer services
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The Mobile Home
Expert The business of installing and servicing
manufactured homes is rapidly moving away from the world of the one
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certified tradesmen, and licensed contractors. The modern manufactured
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the inspection of installations it gets more and more difficult to know
what the rules of the game are, especially if your operating in more than one jurisdiction. Consult with R.T. Bonney, who has participated in all phases of the
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problems of operating most types of manufactured housing business.
Floor Repair Info Kit includes a 25 minute
VHS video about repairing the floor in your manufactured home, and a
booklet on floor repair. Price:$25.95 - Shipping
Painting and Texturing Paneled Walls By
following the steps in this 20 minute video, your paneled walls will look
darn near like textured sheetrock. Works on both wood
paneling and vinyl-covered paneling or sheetrock. Price:$19.95 Shipping & Handling:$3.90