Tips for Cleaning Your AC System

September 20, 2019

With summer coming to an end in Branchville, now is a great time to get a head start on air conditioner maintenance.

If you haven’t cleaned it recently, it could be clogged with dust and yard waste. This collection can reduce your unit’s efficiency and cause it to stop working. Or make it wear out sooner.

We advise having your air conditioning system professionally serviced annually. Why? Clean equipment can be more energy efficient, which could save you money on utility bills.

Routine AC maintenance also helps our technicians locate and take care of slight issues before they turn into expensive problems.

Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner from Failing

Some of the work we do involves:

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

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

Schedule maintenance now


There’s also some upkeep you can do alone between professional tune-ups. It only takes about an hour to get the grime off your outdoor condenser unit, as well as a couple of parts 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 clean 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 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 power to your air conditioner at the breaker box.

2. Clean the Outside

Remove rubbish from the equipment. This includes branches, bushes, weeds and grass.

Then use the vacuum to cautiously clean the metallic fins. These pieces are also called as condenser coils and move heat away from your system.

You need to be considerate of these fine coils. Bent or crumpled fins can affect efficiency.

3. Fix Bent Fins

Use a butter knife to rearrange warped fins. You can also buy a fin comb from an appliance parts store. A pro from Willco Air Conditioning, Refrigeration & Heating Inc. should take care of large amounts of damage.

4. Clean the Inside

After extracting the fan, dig out leaves and other yard rubbish. Then mop the inside of the system with a wet cloth.

The only coil cleaner you need is water. Use gentle pressure from a hose nozzle to clean the fins, directing water from the inside out. Reinstall the fan 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 running like it should, give us a call at 862-345-6896.

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 couple of months, depending on the model you use.

Can’t remember when you last replaced yours? Remove it and hold it up to the light. If there’s no light visible, buy a new one.

3. Clean the Inside

Remove the blower door and vacuum up dust.

Then inspect your air conditioner’s drain line—it’s a pliable plastic tube. If it’s moldy, you can freshen it by flowing thinned bleach through the tube to sanitize the line. Or you can get a new tube.

Clean the drain port using a small, round paintbrush. Hook up the drain tube and switch 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 Willco Air Conditioning, Refrigeration & Heating Inc. can make your system more efficient and help it last longer. We also offer handy service agreements, so you won’t forget to book your regular maintenance!