The fan on your air conditioner is vital to the operation of your central AC system. The fan is part of the exterior unit, which is called the condenser. The condenser unit converts outside air into colder air, which is then circulated into the duct system. The fan is responsible for blowing this cooled air into the ducts. So, the fan is obviously vital to the operation and energy efficiency of any building with a central AC system. This article explains how to access and clean your AC fan.
Accessing the Fan
Since the fan is a part of the condenser unit, which is on the outside of the building, you should only work on it when there is no chance of rain. The first step is to cut the power to the condenser. Most condensers don't have a cord that you can simply unplug, so you need to cut the power at the breaker. Once the power is cut, you should double check by turning on the air conditioner at the thermostat and making sure that the condenser does not power up.
To access the fan, you will need a cordless power drill to remove the bolts that secure the bird guard. Since these bolts are machine fastened, it will be nearly impossible to loosen them by hand. Some guards will be secured with a bolt while others will have traditional Phillips head screws. Once the bolts are removed, you should be able to easily pull the guard away.
Cleaning the Fan and Compartment
With easy access to the fan compartment, you should first vacuum out all of the loose debris. There may be some dark corners that are hard to see, so use a flashlight to illuminate the compartment as you are cleaning it. Next, clean the actual fan blades. This is a preventive measure that will protect your blades from rust formation. Finally, make sure the output vent to the ducts is clean. This is where leaves that fall through the guard can accumulate, causing significantly reduced airflow. Once the interior of your fan compartment looks pristine, you can reverse the steps to put it back together and get it running again. Don't forget to turn the power back on before you try to run your AC.
Simple fan maintenance is a great way to keep your condenser running at maximum efficiency. You can prolong the life of your unit and make sure you are running a more efficient household. If you do not want to complete this task yourself, then contact an air conditioning installation expert for assistance.