tools for an air conditioner service

Tips for Cleaning Your AC System

With summer winding down in Dresden, now is an ideal time to get a head start on air conditioner maintenance.

If you haven’t cleaned it lately, it could be full of dust and yard waste. This accumulation can reduce your unit’s efficiency and cause it to break down. Or make it wear out sooner.

We recommend having your air conditioning system professionally serviced once a year. Why? A clean system can be more energy efficient, which could save you money on utility costs.

Regular AC maintenance also helps our technicians locate and take care of slight issues before they become high-priced problems.

Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner from Failing

Some of the work we perform involves:

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

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

Schedule maintenance now


There’s also some maintenance you can do by yourself between professional tune-ups. It only takes about an hour to wash your outdoor condenser unit, as well as a few 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

Pick a temperate day to scrub your air conditioner. At least 60 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) is ideal. That way, you can check 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 electricity to your air conditioner at the breaker box.

2. Clean the Outside

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

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

You need to be cautious with these fine coils. Bent or crinkled fins can influence 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 McFadden Heating & Cooling should handle extensive damage.

4. Clean the Inside

After extracting the fan, pull out leaves and other yard waste. Then clean the inside of the unit with a wet rag.

The only coil cleaner you have to have is water. Use slight pressure from a hose nozzle to wash the fins, directing water from the inside out. Reinstall 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 working like it should, reach out to us a call at 1-866-781-0111.

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

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

3. Clean the Inside

Remove the blower door and vacuum up dust.

Then take a look at your air conditioner’s drain line—it’s a supple plastic tube. If it’s scummy, you can freshen it by draining thinned bleach through the tube to sanitize the line. Or you can buy a new tube.

Clean 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 McFadden Heating & Cooling can make your unit more efficient and help it last longer. We also offer convenient service agreements, so you won’t forget to book your routine service!

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