The Best Tips for Keeping Your Air Handler Unit Clean and Efficient
Maintaining an air handler unit is an often overlooked but essential step in keeping your air conditioning system running efficiently. An air handler unit conditions and circulates air throughout the home, and it contains a heater, evaporator, blower, air filter and humidifier. With frequent use, dirt and debris can quickly build up and decrease the unit’s performance. Keeping your air handler clean and in good condition will enhance the performance and efficiency of your air conditioning system, while also providing cleaner air throughout your home.
First, turn off the power to the air handler unit to ensure your safety. Next, open the unit and carefully remove the pieces, like the fan, blower and coils. Use a high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) vacuum to remove dirt and bacteria. If the unit includes a manual, it may recommend cleaners to use. Otherwise, purchase a general air conditioning cleaning solution from your local home improvement store. Throughout this process, make sure to keep track of the pieces being removed from the unit so that reinstallation goes smoothly.
The coils can become especially dirty over time, and can be prone to the growth of algae. To clean them, remove them from the unit and take them outdoors to clean. Use a soft scrub brush dipped in a cleaning solution, and then rinse the coils with your garden hose. Wipe away the excess water and allow the coils to air-dry for about one hour before reinstalling them. Flush the condensation lines with algaecide or bleach to eliminate any residue.
And finally, make sure to take care of any rust that may have developed. If you only notice a few spots of rust, use a wire brush to remove it. Then, dip a cloth in mineral oil and wipe the rusted areas. For more severe rust, use a rust remover that can be found in any home improvement store. When dealing with rust remover, it is important to wear protective gloves as it may contain acid.
The air handler plays an important role in the air conditioning system, so it’s essential to properly clean and maintain it. Doing so will help ensure your unit runs efficiently and your air is clean, both of which are key to keeping you and your family safe from airborne contaminants.