tools for an air conditioner service

Tips for Cleaning Your AC System

With summer coming to an end in Shelby, now is a great time to get ahead on air conditioner maintenance.

If you haven’t taken care of it this year, it could be blocked with dirt and yard refuse. This buildup can limit your unit’s efficiency and cause it to stop working. Or make it wear out more quickly.

We recommend having your air conditioning system professionally serviced every year. Why? Clean equipment can be more energy efficient, which could save you money on electric expenses.

Consistent AC maintenance also helps our technicians locate and take care of minor issues before they turn into costly problems.

Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner from Failing

Some of the work we do includes:

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

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

Schedule maintenance now


There’s also some work 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 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

Choose a temperate day to scrub your air conditioner. At least 60 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) is great. That way, you can test your system once you’ve cleaned it.

You’ll only need a handful 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

Stop the electricity to your air conditioner at the breaker box.

2. Clean the Outside

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

Then run the vacuum to gently clean the metallic fins. These pieces are also called as condenser coils and divert heat away from your unit.

You need to be careful with these delicate coils. Misshapen or crushed fins can affect efficiency.

3. Fix Bent Fins

Use a butter knife to straighten bent fins. You can also get a fin comb from an appliance parts website. A pro from Hopper Heating and Air should handle extensive damage.

4. Clean the Inside

After taking out the fan, pull out leaves and other yard rubbish. Then clean the inside of the unit with a wet sponge.

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

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, contact us a call at 704-233-7363.

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 need to be replaced every couple of months, depending on the kind you use.

Can’t remember when you last put in a new one? Remove it and angle it toward the light. If you can’t see light through it, 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 pliable plastic tube. If it’s scummy, you can sanitize it by pouring diluted bleach through the tube to sanitize the line. Or you can buy a new tube.

Wash the drain port using a small, round paintbrush. Connect 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 Hopper Heating and Air can make your equipment more efficient and help it last longer. We also have handy service agreements, so you won’t forget to schedule your routine maintenance!

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