Tips for Cleaning Your AC System

September 20, 2019

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

If you haven’t washed it lately, it could be full of dirt and yard refuse. This accumulation can limit your unit’s efficiency and cause it to malfunction. Or wear it down sooner.

We advise having your air conditioning system professionally serviced every year. Why? A clean unit can be more energy efficient, which could save you money on electric costs.

Consistent AC maintenance also helps our technicians discover and take care of slight issues before they turn into high-priced problems.

Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner from Failing

Some of the work we do consists of:

  • Inspecting the blower, motor, drain line and coils
  • Checking pressure and temperature
  • Reviewing lines, refrigerant totals and connections

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

Schedule maintenance now


There’s also some upkeep you can do alone between professional tune-ups. You just need about an hour to wash 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 warm day to scrub 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 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

Take out debris from the unit. This includes branches, bushes, weeds and grass.

Then turn on the vacuum to cautiously clean the metallic fins. These parts are also known as condenser coils and move heat away from your system.

You need to be careful with these delicate coils. Misshapen or crumpled fins can impact efficiency.

3. Fix Bent Fins

Use a butter knife to rearrange bent fins. You can also buy a fin comb from an appliance parts website. A pro from Gillman Heating and Air should handle severe damage.

4. Clean the Inside

After extracting the fan, fish out leaves and other yard litter. Then clean the inside of the unit with a wet cloth.

The only coil cleaner you should use is water. Use gentle pressure from a hose nozzle to rinse the fins, showering water from the inside out. Put the fan back in once you’re completed.

5. Test Your Air Conditioner

It’s safe to restore power and turn your air conditioner back on. If it’s not operating like it should, reach out to us a call at 478-202-3076.

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

3 Steps to Clean the Indoor Unit

1. Turn Off the Power

Stop the power to your furnace at the breaker box.

2. Check Your Filter

Furnace filters should be exchanged every couple of months, depending on the model you use.

Unsure when you last put in a new one? Take it out and hold it up to the light. If there’s no light visible, replace it.

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 dirty, you can clean it by flowing thinned bleach through the tube to clean the line. Or you can get a new tube.

Wash the drain port using a small, round paintbrush. Reconnect the drain tube and restore power.

Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner Running Well Through Fall

Never Forget a Tune-Up Again

Annual air conditioner maintenance from Gillman Heating and Air can make your system more efficient and help it last longer. We also provide handy service agreements, so you won’t forget to plan your annual service!