Monday, July 19, 2010

clean air conditioner


Yesterday morning I received a phone call from my neighbor. She told me about how her parents' air conditioner had stopped working, and upon trouble-shooting for them, her husband found that the filter-thing (official terms only here) was covered in . . . cotton.

The cottonwood tree remnants ("cotton") have been horrid this year where I live; if I didn't know better I'd wonder why it's been snowing this summer. And the allergies -- THE ALLERGIES! Torture.

My neighbor showed me how to check my air conditioning unit by simply looking upward through the slants (gotta get down on the grass to do so). My air conditioning unit? Covered in cotton. As were three more of our neighbors' (that I know of), including one which also had morning glory growing up the sides of the filter.

The problem with this, of course, is that if your filter is covered in anything, it's essentially a clogged filter, thus drastically reducing the effectiveness of your air conditioner. I didn't realize that ideally we should be cleaning the filter about twice during the summer . . . and we've lived here for over seven years. Oops.

To clean the air conditioner, simply use a trigger nozzle on a hose and spray through each vent opening. Will it take a long time? Yes. But will it be worth it, particularly for those of us who may or may not have the A/C running all day and all night? We shall see.

9 comments:

Jennifer said...

I had no idea to check this, either. Thanks for the tip; I will definitely be using it this week!

We live in a Zoo! said...

Hmmm, well now I'm going to have to go and check mine! Praying that it will be clean, lol!

AzĂșcar said...

I am checking this TONIGHT. Our place is covered in "cotton". It eddies in the garage, it pools under our cars, it's in our doorways, it's under the scooters, it's e v e r y w h e r e.

And I've been wondering why our air conditioning is running hot...

cw said...

Our AC guy told us every holiday--or about once a month (which is also about when we were told to apply fertilizer to the lawn). It can make a huge difference. There are more tips where that came from. That guy was worth every penny of his service fee just by how many times I've not had to call him since.

Nicole said...

Mine was covered in cotton a few weeks ago. It would go on, but the air wouldn't blow cold. I got off about 95% of the cotton, pulled away the massive morning glories, and all was well....

Nicole
(Commenting live from a comfortable 67* F living room)

Christi said...

Ohhhhh... THANKS for the heads up! We shall be checking ours as well.

Rynell said...

I'm going to get this done today. Thanks for the tip. I had no idea. I only knew to change the furnace filter frequently, had no idea to check outside.

Aubrey said...

Trent was soooo happy when our back yard neighbors cut down their cotton trees. We used to have our entire back lawn covered and have to clean the air conditioner once a week.

Trent calls them weed trees.

Emily said...

Could there be another reason my house is so hot??!?! Oh wait...I don't have air conditioning...that would be it. nice. I guess you have to have air conditioning to be able to check the filter for cotton.