Tips for Cleaning Your AC System

September 20, 2019

With summer ending in Genoa, now is a great time to get a head start on air conditioner maintenance.

If you haven’t cleaned it recently, it could be full of dirt and debris from your yard. This buildup can limit your unit’s efficiency and cause it to break down. Or make it wear out sooner.

We advise having your air conditioning system professionally tuned-up once a year. Why? A clean system can be more energy efficient, which could save you money on electric expenses.

Routine AC maintenance also helps our technicians spot and handle small issues before they become costly problems.

Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner from Failing

Some of the work we perform involves:

  • Viewing the blower, motor, drain line and coils
  • Checking pressure and temperature
  • Testing lines, refrigerant levels and connections

It’s not too late to have maintenance done this fall—and we can get your furnace prepped for heating season too.

Schedule maintenance now


There’s also some maintenance you can do by yourself between professional tune-ups. It only takes about an hour to wash your outdoor condenser unit, as well as a couple of 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

Pick a mild day to scrub your air conditioner. At least 60 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) is great. That way, you can run your system once you’ve cleaned it.

You’ll only need a couple of things:

  • 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

Take out waste from the system. This includes branches, bushes, weeds and grass.

Then turn on the vacuum to gently clean the metallic fins. These pieces are also referred to as condenser coils and transfer heat away from your unit.

You need to be cautious with these fragile coils. Bent or crushed fins can affect efficiency.

3. Fix Bent Fins

Use a butter knife to adjust bent fins. You can also buy a fin comb from an appliance parts store. A pro from Assured Appliance and Heating & Air should handle severe damage.

4. Clean the Inside

After extracting the fan, pull out leaves and other yard waste. Then wipe the inside of the equipment with a wet rag.

The only coil cleaner you should use is water. Use slight pressure from a hose nozzle to wash the fins, spraying water from the inside out. Put the fan back in once you’re done.

5. Test Your Air Conditioner

You can now restore power and turn your air conditioner back on. If it’s not working correctly, contact us a call at 847-306-8990.

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

3 Steps to Clean the Indoor Unit

1. Turn Off the Power

Cut the juice to your furnace at the breaker box.

2. Check Your Filter

Furnace filters must be changed every couple of months, depending on the model you use.

Unsure when you last replaced yours? Take it out and hold it up to the light. If you can’t see light through it, get 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 flexible plastic tube. If it’s moldy, you can freshen it by pouring diluted bleach through the tube to flush the line. Or you can buy a new tube.

Wash the drain port using a small, round paintbrush. Reconnect 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 Assured Appliance and Heating & Air can make your unit more efficient and help it last longer. We also offer convenient service agreements, so you won’t forget to book your annual maintenance!