Tips for Cleaning Your AC System

September 20, 2019

With summer winding down in Alliance, now is a great time to get ahead on air conditioner maintenance.

If you haven’t taken care of it lately, it could be clogged with dirt and debris from your yard. This accumulation can decrease your unit’s efficiency and cause it to malfunction. Or wear it down sooner.

We advise having your air conditioning system professionally maintained once a year. Why? Clean equipment can be more energy efficient, which could save you money on utility costs.

Routine AC maintenance also helps our technicians locate and handle small issues before they become high-priced problems.

Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner from Failing

Some of the work we perform involves:

  • Inspecting the blower, motor, drain line and coils
  • Watching pressure and temperature
  • Examining lines, refrigerant amounts and connections

You can still have a tune-up done this fall—and we can get your furnace prepped for heating season too.

Schedule maintenance now


There’s also some upkeep you can do on your own between professional tune-ups. You only need about an hour to wash your outdoor condenser unit, as well as a few pieces on your indoor HVAC system.

Related: How Often Should You Expect to Get Air Conditioning Service Done?

How to Clean Your Outside AC Unit

Select a mild day to wash your air conditioner. At least 60 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) is best. That way, you can check your equipment once you’ve cleaned it.

You’ll only need a few tools:

  • Wet-dry vacuum and hose with a soft brush attachment
  • Screwdriver
  • Butter knife
  • Damp rag
  • Small, round paintbrush
  • Replacement furnace filter (if necessary)

Related: How AC Repair and Maintenance Can Actually Save You Money

5 Steps to Clean the Outside Unit

1. Turn Off the Power

Stop the juice to your air conditioner at the breaker box.

2. Clean the Outside

Remove debris from the unit. This includes branches, bushes, weeds and grass.

Then run the vacuum to slowly clean the metallic fins. These parts are also called as condenser coils and transfer heat away from your equipment.

You need to be considerate of these fine coils. Bent or crushed fins can influence efficiency.

3. Fix Bent Fins

Use a butter knife to rearrange warped fins. You can also buy a fin comb from an appliance parts retailer. A pro from Jack's Heating, Cooling, Stoves & Fireplaces should fix large amounts of damage.

4. Clean the Inside

After removing the fan, pull out leaves and other yard waste. Then clean the inside of the unit with a wet cloth.

The only coil cleaner you need is water. Use slight pressure from a hose nozzle to clean the fins, directing water from the inside out. Reinstall the fan once you’re finished.

5. Test Your Air Conditioner

You can now restore power and turn your air conditioner back on. If it’s not running correctly, give us a call at 308-646-3827.

Related: Air Conditioner Service: Pay a Little Now, Save Later

3 Steps to Clean the Indoor Unit

1. Turn Off the Power

Stop the juice to your furnace at the breaker box.

2. Check Your Filter

Furnace filters must be exchanged every several months, depending on the model you use.

Can’t remember when you last checked yours? Remove it and hold it up to the light. If you can’t see light through it, buy a new one.

3. Clean the Inside

Remove the blower door and vacuum up dust.

Then examine your air conditioner’s drain line—it’s a supple plastic tube. If it’s scummy, you can freshen it by flowing diluted bleach through the tube to sanitize the line. Or you can buy a new tube.

Clean the drain port using a small, round paintbrush. Hook up the drain tube and turn the power back on.

Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner Running Well Through Fall

Never Forget a Tune-Up Again

Annual air conditioner maintenance from Jack's Heating, Cooling, Stoves & Fireplaces can make your unit more efficient and help it last longer. We also have handy service agreements, so you won’t forget to schedule your annual maintenance!