Of all the components in a central HVAC and heating system, it is usually the compressor that sucks up the most electricity. The compressor is located inside the actual air conditioning unit on the outside of your home. It is a large, cylindrical, metal device that is usually underneath the fan. The proximity to the fan is important because the compressor gets very warm when it is running, and the fan is meant to cool it down, which helps to reduce how much electricity uses. Basically, if you learn how to clean your fan and compressor, you can make your air conditioner a little more energy efficient.
Remove the Fan from the AC Unit
In order to access and clean the compressor, you need to remove the protective cage on top of the air conditioning unit. The back of the fan motor is attached to this protective cage, so it can blow down onto the compressor. When you remove the mounting screws, the fan will pull right up and stay attached to the cage. You can remove the fan and place it on the ground without disconnecting any wires. Obviously, before you do this you want to make sure that the power is completely shut off to the AC unit.
Cleaning the fan blades and stem is smart, but it probably won't actually affect the functionality of the unit. However, the fan motor, which is encased in metal and has vents on the side, will work better if it is clean. The motor vents can get significantly clogged by dirt and dust. Don't try to wipe this dust out. Instead, use a vacuum that will suck the dust out of the vents, instead of pushing it further into the motors.
Cleaning and Checking the Compressor
The compressor is a sealed cylindrical, metal unit, which you don't want to open up unless you are a licensed HVAC technician. But, cleaning the outside and making sure that all of the electrical components are connected is vital.
A typical AC unit will fail due to the failure of the compressor unit. So, just doing a little bit of light preventative maintenance could ultimately protect your entire AC unit, and make it more productive over the years.
The compressor is one of the most commonly replaced components in a central air conditioning system. This is simply due to the fact that people don't ever clean it or spend any time maintaining it. But, once you learn how to open up your AC unit to safely clean the inside of it, you will be able to quickly and easily do your part to prevent serious problems in the long run.