Tips for Cleaning Your AC System

September 20, 2019

With summer winding down in Plover, now is a great time to get a head start on air conditioner maintenance.

If you haven’t taken care of it lately, it could be blocked with mud and yard waste. This accumulation can decrease your unit’s efficiency and cause it to malfunction. Or require replacement 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 energy costs.

Routine AC maintenance also helps our technicians discover and handle small issues before they become costly problems.

Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner from Failing

Some of the work we perform includes:

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

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

Schedule maintenance now


There’s also some work you can do by yourself between professional tune-ups. It only takes about an hour to clean 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 run your equipment 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

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

2. Clean the Outside

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

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

You need to be considerate of these fine coils. Misshapen or crumpled fins can impact efficiency.

3. Fix Bent Fins

Use a butter knife to straighten bent fins. You can also get a fin comb from an appliance parts retailer. A pro from Point Heating & Cooling should take care of extensive damage.

4. Clean the Inside

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

The only coil cleaner you have to have is water. Use slight pressure from a hose nozzle to rinse the fins, spraying water from the inside out. Reinstall the fan once you’re done.

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 715-504-0533.

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

3 Steps to Clean the Indoor Unit

1. Turn Off the Power

Stop the electricity to your furnace at the breaker box.

2. Check Your Filter

Furnace filters should be exchanged every several months, depending on the type 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, get 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 flexible plastic tube. If it’s scummy, you can sanitize it by draining thinned bleach through the tube to sanitize the line. Or you can replace the 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 Point Heating & Cooling can make your system more efficient and help it last longer. We also have convenient service agreements, so you won’t forget to plan your annual service!