tools for an air conditioner service

Tips for Cleaning Your AC System

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

If you haven’t washed it this year, it could be blocked with mud and yard waste. This collection can limit your unit’s efficiency and cause it to malfunction. Or make it wear out faster.

We suggest having your air conditioning system professionally maintained every year. Why? Clean equipment can be more energy efficient, which could save you money on energy bills.

Routine AC maintenance also helps our technicians discover and take care of slight issues before they turn into costly 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
  • Checking pressure and temperature
  • Examining lines, refrigerant amounts and connections

You can still have a tune-up done this fall—and we can get your furnace ready for heating season too.

Schedule maintenance now


There’s also some maintenance you can do alone between professional tune-ups. You only need about an hour to get the grime off 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

Select a warm day to wash your air conditioner. At least 60 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) is best. 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

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

2. Clean the Outside

Take out waste from the equipment. This includes branches, bushes, weeds and grass.

Then run the vacuum to gently clean the metallic fins. These pieces are also known as condenser coils and move heat away from your equipment.

You need to be careful with these fine coils. Warped or crumpled fins can affect efficiency.

3. Fix Bent Fins

Use a butter knife to adjust misshapen fins. You can also get a fin comb from an appliance parts retailer. A pro from West Jefferson Plumbing and Heating, Inc. should fix severe damage.

4. Clean the Inside

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

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

5. Test Your Air Conditioner

You can now restore power and turn your air conditioner back on. If it’s not operating correctly, reach out to us a call at 614-450-1575.

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

3 Steps to Clean the Indoor Unit

1. Turn Off the Power

Turn off the juice to your furnace at the breaker box.

2. Check Your Filter

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

Can’t remember when you last put in a new one? Take it out and hold it up to the light. If there’s no light visible, get 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 flexible plastic tube. If it’s scummy, you can freshen it by flowing thinned bleach through the tube to flush the line. Or you can replace the tube.

Scrub 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 West Jefferson Plumbing and Heating, Inc. can make your system more efficient and help it last longer. We also offer convenient service agreements, so you won’t forget to plan your routine maintenance!

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