Tips for Cleaning Your AC System

September 20, 2019

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

If you haven’t washed it this year, it could be full of dirt and yard waste. This buildup can decrease your unit’s efficiency and cause it to stop working. Or wear it down more quickly.

We advise having your air conditioning system professionally tuned-up every year. Why? Clean equipment can be more energy efficient, which could save you money on utility costs.

Regular AC maintenance also helps our technicians spot and handle slight issues before they become costly problems.

Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner from Failing

Some of the work we perform involves:

  • Inspecting the blower, motor, drain line and coils
  • Watching pressure and temperature
  • Testing lines, refrigerant totals 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 work you can do by yourself between professional tune-ups. You only need about an hour to get the grime off 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

Pick a warm day to wash your air conditioner. At least 60 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) is great. That way, you can run your equipment 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

Cut 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 turn on the vacuum to gently clean the metallic fins. These components are also called as condenser coils and divert heat away from your unit.

You need to be cautious with these fine coils. Bent or crushed fins can impact efficiency.

3. Fix Bent Fins

Use a butter knife to straighten warped fins. You can also buy a fin comb from an appliance parts store. A pro from HCE Systems Inc should fix extensive damage.

4. Clean the Inside

After removing the fan, fish out leaves and other yard waste. Then wipe the inside of the system with a wet cloth.

The only coil cleaner you need is water. Use light 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 running correctly, give us a call at 276-302-0076.

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

3 Steps to Clean the Indoor Unit

1. Turn Off the Power

Cut the electricity to your furnace at the breaker box.

2. Check Your Filter

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

Unsure when you last checked yours? Take it out and tilt it toward the light. If light isn’t visible, replace it.

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 clean it by draining water-down bleach through the tube to clean the line. Or you can get a new tube.

Clean 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 HCE Systems Inc can make your unit more efficient and help it last longer. We also provide practical service agreements, so you won’t forget to schedule your routine maintenance!