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

If you haven’t washed it lately, it could be full of mud and debris from your yard. This buildup can decrease your unit’s efficiency and cause it to malfunction. Or require replacement more quickly.

We suggest having your air conditioning system professionally maintained annually. Why? A clean unit can be more energy efficient, which could save you money on electric bills.

Consistent AC maintenance also helps our technicians spot and handle slight issues before they develop into high-priced problems.

Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner from Failing

Some of the work we perform includes:

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

You can still have maintenance done this fall—and we can get your furnace prepped for heating season too.

There’s also some work you can do on your own between professional tune-ups. You only need about an hour to clean 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?

Tips for Cleaning the Outdoor AC Unit

Select a mild day to clean 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 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

Follow these Steps for Cleaning the Outside Unit

1. Turn Off the Power

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

2. Clean the Outside

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

Then use the vacuum to cautiously clean the metallic fins. These components are also known as condenser coils and divert heat away from your equipment.

You need to be careful with these fragile coils. Warped or crinkled fins can influence efficiency.

3. Fix Bent Fins

Use a butter knife to adjust misshapen fins. You can also buy a fin comb from an appliance part retailer. A pro from Connolly Electric & Mechanical should handle 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 sponge.

The only coil cleaner you should use is water. Use light pressure from a hose nozzle to wash the fins, showering water from the inside out. Replace the fan once you’re completed.

5. Test Your Air Conditioner

You can now restore power and turn your air conditioner back on. If it’s not running correctly, reach out to us a call at 928-251-4327.

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

Next, How You Can Clean the Indoor Unit

1. Turn Off the Power

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

2. Check Your Filter

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

Not sure when you last put in a new one? Take 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 moldy, you can sanitize it by draining thinned bleach through the tube to clean the line. Or you can buy a new tube.

Wash the drain port using a small, round paintbrush. Connect the drain tube and turn the power back on.

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

Don’t Forget About Maintenance Again

Annual air conditioner maintenance from Connolly Electric & Mechanical can make your equipment more efficient and help it last longer. We also offer practical service agreements, so you won’t forget to schedule your regular service!