Tips for Cleaning Your AC System

September 20, 2019

With summer ending in Thedford, now is a great time to get ahead on air conditioner maintenance.

If you haven’t washed it lately, it could be blocked with mud and debris from your yard. This buildup can limit your unit’s efficiency and cause it to break down. Or wear it down faster.

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

Regular AC maintenance also helps our technicians locate and address slight issues before they turn into expensive problems.

Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner from Failing

Some of the work we complete includes:

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

There’s still time to have maintenance done this fall—and we can get your furnace prepared for heating season too.

Schedule maintenance now


There’s also some maintenance 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 several components 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 warm day to wash 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 items:

  • 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 juice to your air conditioner at the breaker box.

2. Clean the Outside

Remove waste from the unit. This includes branches, bushes, weeds and grass.

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

You need to be cautious with these fine coils. Warped or crumpled fins can impact efficiency.

3. Fix Bent Fins

Use a butter knife to rearrange misshapen fins. You can also use a fin comb from an appliance parts retailer. A pro from Taylor's Heating & Air Conditioning should handle extensive damage.

4. Clean the Inside

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

The only coil cleaner you have to have is water. Use gentle pressure from a hose nozzle to wash the fins, showering water from the inside out. Reinstall the fan once you’re completed.

5. Test Your Air Conditioner

Now it’s time to restore power and turn your air conditioner back on. If it’s not working like it should, reach out to us a call at 519-296-4437.

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 electricity to your furnace at the breaker box.

2. Check Your Filter

Furnace filters must be changed every few months, depending on the type you use.

Not sure when you last checked yours? Take it out 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 examine your air conditioner’s drain line—it’s a flexible plastic tube. If it’s moldy, you can sanitize it by flowing diluted bleach through the tube to flush the line. Or you can replace the tube.

Scrub the drain port using a small, round paintbrush. Hook up 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 Taylor's Heating & Air Conditioning can make your system more efficient and help it last longer. We also offer convenient service agreements, so you won’t forget to schedule your routine service!