Tips for Cleaning Your AC System

September 20, 2019

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

If you haven’t taken care of it recently, it could be full of mud and yard waste. This accumulation can limit your unit’s efficiency and cause it to stop working. Or wear it down faster.

We recommend having your air conditioning system professionally tuned-up annually. 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 handle small issues before they turn into costly problems.

Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner from Failing

Some of the work we perform consists of:

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

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

Schedule maintenance now


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

Choose a mild day to clean your air conditioner. At least 60 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) is ideal. That way, you can test the unit 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 juice to your air conditioner at the breaker box.

2. Clean the Outside

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

Then use the vacuum to gently clean the metallic fins. These parts are also referred to as condenser coils and divert heat away from your equipment.

You need to be considerate of these fine coils. Warped or crinkled fins can influence efficiency.

3. Fix Bent Fins

Use a butter knife to straighten warped fins. You can also use a fin comb from an appliance parts store. A pro from Breathe Healthier Air should take care of large amounts of 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 slight pressure from a hose nozzle to wash the fins, directing water from the inside out. Put the fan back in once you’re finished.

5. Test Your Air Conditioner

Now it’s time to restore power and turn your air conditioner back on. If it’s not running like it should, give us a call at 772-600-7151.

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

3 Steps to Clean the Indoor Unit

1. Turn Off the Power

Cut the power to your furnace at the breaker box.

2. Check Your Filter

Furnace filters should be replaced every several months, depending on the type you use.

Not sure when you last checked yours? Remove it and tilt it toward the light. If light isn’t 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 supple plastic tube. If it’s dirty, you can sanitize it by flowing thinned bleach through the tube to flush the line. Or you can replace the tube.

Clean the drain port using a small, round paintbrush. Hook up 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 Breathe Healthier Air can make your system more efficient and help it last longer. We also offer handy service agreements, so you won’t forget to book your regular service!