Tips for Cleaning Your AC System

September 20, 2019

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

If you haven’t taken care of it this year, it could be full of dirt and yard waste. This buildup can decrease your unit’s efficiency and cause it to malfunction. 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 energy expenses.

Consistent AC maintenance also helps our technicians locate and address minor issues before they turn into high-priced problems.

Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner from Failing

Some of the work we do includes:

  • Viewing the blower, motor, drain line and coils
  • Watching pressure and temperature
  • Examining lines, refrigerant totals and connections

It’s not too late 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 maintenance you can do by yourself between professional tune-ups. You just need about an hour to clean your outdoor condenser unit, as well as several 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 wash your air conditioner. At least 60 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) is great. That way, you can test 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

Stop the electricity 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 gently clean the metallic fins. These pieces are also called as condenser coils and divert heat away from your unit.

You need to be cautious with these fine coils. Warped or crushed fins can impact 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 severe damage.

4. Clean the Inside

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

The only coil cleaner you should use is water. Use gentle pressure from a hose nozzle to wash the fins, spraying 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 several months, depending on the kind you use.

Unsure when you last checked yours? 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 examine your air conditioner’s drain line—it’s a pliable plastic tube. If it’s scummy, you can sanitize it by pouring water-down 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

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 practical service agreements, so you won’t forget to book your routine maintenance!