Tips for Cleaning Your AC System

September 20, 2019

With summer coming to an end in Montoursville, now is a good time to get a kick start on air conditioner maintenance.

If you haven’t washed it recently, it could be blocked with mud and debris from your yard. This accumulation can decrease your unit’s efficiency and cause it to stop working. Or require replacement sooner.

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

Consistent AC maintenance also helps our technicians discover and take care of slight issues before they become expensive problems.

Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner from Failing

Some of the work we perform consists of:

  • Taking a look at the blower, motor, drain line and coils
  • Confirming pressure and temperature
  • Examining lines, refrigerant amounts and connections

There’s still time to 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 by yourself between professional tune-ups. You just need about an hour to clean 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

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

You’ll only need a handful 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

Cut the power 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 use the vacuum to cautiously clean the metallic fins. These parts are also known as condenser coils and move heat away from your equipment.

You need to be careful with these fine coils. Warped or crinkled fins can impact efficiency.

3. Fix Bent Fins

Use a butter knife to adjust warped fins. You can also use a fin comb from an appliance parts website. A pro from Airmen HVAC Service should fix severe damage.

4. Clean the Inside

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

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

5. Test Your Air Conditioner

It’s safe to restore power and turn your air conditioner back on. If it’s not operating correctly, contact us a call at 570-322-3131.

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 should be changed every few months, depending on the model you use.

Unsure when you last checked yours? Pull it out and hold it up to the light. If there’s no light visible, get 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 supple plastic tube. If it’s scummy, you can freshen it by draining thinned bleach through the tube to sanitize 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 Airmen HVAC Service can make your system more efficient and help it last longer. We also have handy service agreements, so you won’t forget to plan your regular service!