Tips for Cleaning Your AC System

September 20, 2019

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

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

We advise having your air conditioning system professionally serviced once a year. Why? Clean equipment can be more energy efficient, which could save you money on electric costs.

Regular AC maintenance also helps our technicians spot and handle slight issues before they develop 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
  • Confirming pressure and temperature
  • Reviewing lines, refrigerant totals and connections

It’s not too late to have service done this fall—and we can get your furnace prepared for heating season too.

Schedule maintenance now


There’s also some work you can do alone between professional tune-ups. It only takes about an hour to get the grime off your outdoor condenser unit, as well as several 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

Select a mild day to wash your air conditioner. At least 60 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) is best. That way, you can check your system once you’ve cleaned it.

You’ll only need a couple 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

Cut the power to your air conditioner at the breaker box.

2. Clean the Outside

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

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

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

3. Fix Bent Fins

Use a butter knife to straighten misshapen fins. You can also get a fin comb from an appliance parts website. A pro from Appalachian Heating should fix severe damage.

4. Clean the Inside

After taking out the fan, pull out leaves and other yard litter. Then wipe the inside of the system with a wet cloth.

The only coil cleaner you have to have is water. Use gentle pressure from a hose nozzle to clean the fins, showering water from the inside out. Replace the fan once you’re completed.

5. Test Your Air Conditioner

You can now restore power and turn your air conditioner back on. If it’s not operating properly, reach out to us a call at 304-707-0600.

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 exchanged every few months, depending on the kind you use.

Not sure when you last put in a new one? Remove it and hold it up to the light. If light isn’t visible, buy a new one.

3. Clean the Inside

Remove the blower door and vacuum up dust.

Then inspect your air conditioner’s drain line—it’s a pliable plastic tube. If it’s scummy, you can clean it by pouring diluted bleach through the tube to flush the line. Or you can replace the tube.

Wash the drain port using a small, round paintbrush. Hook up the drain tube and switch 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 Appalachian Heating can make your system more efficient and help it last longer. We also have handy service agreements, so you won’t forget to book your regular maintenance!