Tips for Cleaning Your AC System

September 20, 2019

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

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

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

Consistent AC maintenance also helps our technicians discover and address small issues before they turn into costly problems.

Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner from Failing

Some of the work we complete includes:

  • Taking a look at the blower, motor, drain line and coils
  • Watching pressure and temperature
  • Reviewing lines, refrigerant amounts and connections

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

Schedule maintenance now


There’s also some upkeep you can do on your own between professional tune-ups. You only need about an hour to clean 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

Choose a temperate day to wash your air conditioner. At least 60 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) is ideal. That way, you can run your equipment once you’ve cleaned it.

You’ll only need a couple 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

Switch off the power to your air conditioner at the breaker box.

2. Clean the Outside

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

Then run the vacuum to cautiously clean the metallic fins. These pieces are also known as condenser coils and transfer heat away from your system.

You need to be cautious with these delicate coils. Misshapen or crinkled fins can affect efficiency.

3. Fix Bent Fins

Use a butter knife to adjust bent fins. You can also get a fin comb from an appliance parts store. A pro from Bain Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc should handle severe damage.

4. Clean the Inside

After extracting the fan, pull out leaves and other yard litter. Then wipe the inside of the unit with a wet sponge.

The only coil cleaner you have to have is water. Use gentle 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

It’s safe to restore power and turn your air conditioner back on. If it’s not operating like it should, contact us a call at 256-270-1196.

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

3 Steps to Clean the Indoor Unit

1. Turn Off the Power

Cut the juice to your furnace at the breaker box.

2. Check Your Filter

Furnace filters need to be replaced every several months, depending on the kind you use.

Can’t remember when you last checked yours? Remove it and angle it toward the light. If there’s no light visible, replace it.

3. Clean the Inside

Remove the blower door and vacuum up dust.

Then inspect your air conditioner’s drain line—it’s a flexible plastic tube. If it’s moldy, you can sanitize it by pouring thinned bleach through the tube to clean the line. Or you can buy a new tube.

Scrub the drain port using a small, round paintbrush. Reconnect 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 Bain Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc can make your unit more efficient and help it last longer. We also provide convenient service agreements, so you won’t forget to book your routine maintenance!