How to clean your air conditioner’s evaporator

Summer is here and because of that, it's important to make sure all your appliances are in good working order.

It's no secret that we all love summer. There is something so enjoyable and pleasant about warm weather and sunshine. However, despite how great this season may be, one thing that is downright awful is a malfunctioning air conditioner.

A few weeks ago, my family's AC broke down. My wife, Jan, suggested that instead of calling an electrician to come over and fix it, that I do some research and see if I can get the appliance working again.

Some of the articles that I came across said that the evaporator, which is located directly about the air conditioner's furnace should be cleaned once a year. I asked myself how in the world am I supposed to know how to do this. Luckily, the articles included some how-to steps.

First, I took off the foil-wrapped insulation at the front of the AC's plenum, which is the part of the appliance that returns air and exhaust air. After doing so, I unscrewed the access plate using a screwdriver.

Then, I cleaned the entire bottom of the evaporator using a stiff brush. I purchased one of these at my local hardware store. Once I completed this step, I cleaned the tray of the evaporator unit. Apparently, the purpose of this tray is to carry away condensation from the evaporator. The article then said to pour one tablespoon of bleach into the small opening of the tray to prevent fungus and mold from growing.

Next, I reinstalled the plate, put insulation tape over it and turned on our air conditioner. Luckily there were no leaks! I was thrilled to see that my research and handyman skills had paid off and so was the rest of my family because the next day, it was over 90 degrees in my town.

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