Expert shares how to fix AC yourself if it isn’t working on a hot day

Andrey Popov/Adobe Stock @jjackowhvac/TikTok (Licensed)

‘This is why I want my kids to go to trade school’: Expert shares how to fix A/C yourself if it isn’t working on a hot day

‘I’m about to go outside to my apartment complex and do this.’

 

Beau Paul

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It looks like this summer is going to be another scorcher. So, it makes sense to get your A/C unit in tiptop shape—but most of us don’t have a clue how to do so.

If you have an A/C with an outside condenser unit (the boxy fan-equipped metal unit outside your house or apartment), this HVAC expert has a hot tip that could keep you cool throughout the warmest months of the year.

Blue Collar Built LLC (@jjackowhvac) boasts over 99,300 followers on TikTok. In a recent video captioned, “Breathing good now,” a technician shows homeowners and renters how to make sure their A/C is functioning correctly—and the tip is simpler than you might think.

The clip has acquired over 2.1 million views as of this writing.

“So your air conditioner isn’t working on a hot day?” the tech asks his viewers. In the video, he is seen removing the outer cowling of a condenser unit, revealing the filter, which is absolutely choked with dust and other debris.

Over the tones of “Million Dollar Baby” by Tommy Richman, he is then seen removing the clogged dirt and debris stuck to the coil’s filter. The tech uses his bare hands at one point and then proceeds to clean the entire unit with a spray hose.

The fix

Though Blue Collar Built LLC doesn’t mention it, it’s important to note that HVAC companies such as Hargrave Heating and PV HVAC say you should always turn off the unit’s power before attempting this kind of cleaning.

The TikTok technician cleans the outer housing and replaces it. He is then seen cleaning the unit’s electronics, but the video offers no tips on how to do this.

One viewer mocked the video’s simplicity, writing in the comments section, “That’ll be $500 lol.. this is why I want my kids to go to trade school.”

Jessica Taitt (@jessica.taitt2) wrote, “I’m about to go outside to my apartment complex and do this.”

Another viewer added, “THIS IS WHY I HAVE MINE SERVICED EVERY SUMMER! They clean it & check the Freon, etc.”

@jjackowhvac Breathing good now #learnontiktok #blowthisup #fypシ #viral #hvaclife #bluecollarboys #fypage #trending #positivity #fypシ゚viral #foryoupage #foryou #tiktok #hvactok #service #hvac #hvactechnician #bluecollar ♬ MILLION DOLLAR BABY (VHS) – Tommy Richman

Do other experts agree?

According to Hargrave Heating, “You should clean your AC coils, including the evaporator and condenser coils, twice a year. Once in the spring before you turn on the system for the summer, and once in the fall before you shut it down for the winter.”

The company lists several benefits of cleaning your A/C coils. These include making your home more comfortable, reducing your unit’s maintenance and repair costs, lowering home energy costs, and extending your unit’s operating life.

According to Saturn Resource Management, “The outdoor condenser coil of your air conditioner performs a tough job in warm weather. It takes the concentrated heat collected from your home and dumps it into the hot outdoor air. To get rid of the collected heat, your outdoor condenser coil has to move a lot of air. If the coil is dirty or if plants or other objects are too close to the conditioner unit, the fan in the outdoor coil can’t move as much air as required for good performance and efficiency. This raises your electricity cost for air conditioning and may shorten the life of the outdoor condensing unit.”

If you want to clean your own unit, PV HVAC recommends the following steps:

  • Turn off power to the unit. We often have to temporarily move or remove components to provide a proper cleaning, so turning off the power is essential.
  • Check the refrigerant pressure. In many cases, the pressure will be higher than it’s supposed to be for a given size and type of air conditioner. We always record the pressure before cleaning the coil.
  • Remove the outer casing. You can’t just spray down the outside of an outdoor unit and call it a day. You have to take the casing off to access the coil.
  • Rinse the coil down with water. Self-explanatory. We get a hose and spray water directly onto the coil.
  • Spray the coil with cleaning chemicals. There are special, manufacturer-approved cleaning chemicals designed just for air conditioner coils. After rinsing the coil, we spray it with the appropriate cleaning solution. If you have a Trane air conditioner with an aluminum Spine Fin™ coil, there’s a special cleaning chemical just for that type of AC.
  • Re-rinse the coil with water. This final rinse removes the cleaning solution, resulting in a clean-looking outdoor coil.
  • Remove all debris from inside the outdoor unit. Sticks, leaves, and straws often accumulate within your outdoor unit. Removing them can improve AC efficiency and help prevent the coil from getting dirty again right away.
  • Check the refrigerant pressure again. Most of the time, a coil with high pressure will now have lower pressure in line with factory specifications. That means the cleaning was effective and the AC will run more efficiently.

The Daily Dot has reached out to Blue Collar Built LLC via TikTok comment and direct message for more information.

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