Central Air Conditioner Maintenance Tips


Central air conditioners are designed to operate with very little maintenance, but there are routine cleanings that can be done to help improve how they run. The outside part, the compressor and condenser, can be cleaned by using a hose and light brush to get rid of the dirt. Inside, the condensate drain should be kept clear, and the drainways should be checked for any signs of leaks. All vents and appliances should be kept clear of draperies, plants, and debris.

Central Air Composition

  • Central air conditioners are made from two basic parts. The first is the large outdoor unit which serves as a compressor and condenser, releasing the heat taken from the house to the outside air so that the inside air can be cycled back through cooler. The inside part contains the thermostat, the motor to help push the air, and evaporator that removes moisture from the air so that it can be cooled more easily.


  • When first turning a central air conditioning unit on, or when using it again after a cooler season, you should make sure all vents and outlets are clear. Drapes, plants, and furniture can all get in the way of proper air flow. Plants should be pruned, dirt should be cleared away both inside and outside of the appliance, and all working parts should be examined for wear and tear.

Outside Maintenance

  • Before working on either inside or outside appliances, you should always turn off power to the air conditioner. To clean the condenser outside of the home, you can use a light spray setting on a handy garden hose. The water should be directed down, so that it washes through the condenser coils and cleans them. If there are darker stains on the coils you can clean them with a light brush. Care should be taken to not damage the coils or any of the parts.

Inside Maintenance

  • The inside maintenance of the air conditioner focuses on the condensate drain line and the evaporator coil. The condensate drain is where the moisture runs away after being siphoned away from the air. The drain should be kept very clean, and you should check out any available pipes for possible leaks. While the evaporator coils should also be kept clean, they are delicate and you should seek the help of a professional before attempting to take care of them.

Additional Aids

  • While the air conditioner is running, there are some things you can do to keep it operating well. You can help the air conditioner by using other types of fans, such as ceiling fans and box fans that will do some of the work themselves. On hot days shades should be pulled down on the windows that have direct sunlight, so the air in the house keeps cool. The walls of the house, especially in the attic, should be very well insulated, which will keep the cool air from escaping.

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