Tips for Cleaning Your AC System

September 20, 2019

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

If you haven’t washed it lately, it could be full of dirt and yard waste. This accumulation can limit your unit’s efficiency and cause it to malfunction. Or wear it down faster.

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 electric expenses.

Consistent AC maintenance also helps our technicians spot and address slight issues before they turn into costly 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 levels and connections

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

Schedule maintenance now


There’s also some work you can do by yourself between professional tune-ups. It only takes about an hour to get the grime off 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

Pick a temperate day to wash your air conditioner. At least 60 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) is ideal. That way, you can run your equipment once you’ve cleaned it.

You’ll only need a couple of 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

Switch off the electricity to your air conditioner at the breaker box.

2. Clean the Outside

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

Then turn on the vacuum to cautiously clean the metallic fins. These pieces are also referred to as condenser coils and move heat away from your equipment.

You need to be cautious with these fine coils. Misshapen or crumpled fins can influence efficiency.

3. Fix Bent Fins

Use a butter knife to straighten bent fins. You can also buy a fin comb from an appliance parts store. A pro from Connolly Electric & Mechanical should fix extensive damage.

4. Clean the Inside

After taking out the fan, pull out leaves and other yard waste. Then mop the inside of the equipment with a wet sponge.

The only coil cleaner you should use is water. Use light pressure from a hose nozzle to clean the fins, directing 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 like it should, contact us a call at 928-244-8840.

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

3 Steps to Clean the Indoor Unit

1. Turn Off the Power

Turn off the power to your furnace at the breaker box.

2. Check Your Filter

Furnace filters need to be changed every few months, depending on the model you use.

Unsure when you last checked yours? Pull it out and angle it toward 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 take a look at your air conditioner’s drain line—it’s a flexible plastic tube. If it’s scummy, you can sanitize it by pouring water-down bleach through the tube to flush the line. Or you can replace the tube.

Clean the drain port using a small, round paintbrush. Reconnect 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 Connolly Electric & Mechanical can make your unit more efficient and help it last longer. We also have convenient service agreements, so you won’t forget to schedule your annual tune-up!