tools for an air conditioner service

Tips for Cleaning Your AC System

With summer ending in Carpentersville, now is a great time to get a head start on air conditioner maintenance.

If you haven’t cleaned it recently, it could be full of dust and yard waste. This accumulation can decrease your unit’s efficiency and cause it to malfunction. Or wear it down sooner.

We suggest having your air conditioning system professionally tuned-up once a year. Why? A clean unit can be more energy efficient, which could save you money on electric expenses.

Consistent AC maintenance also helps our technicians spot and handle minor issues before they turn into high-priced problems.

Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner from Failing

Some of the work we complete involves:

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

It’s not too late to have maintenance 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 by yourself between professional tune-ups. You just need about an hour to wash 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

Pick a warm day to clean your air conditioner. At least 60 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) is ideal. That way, you can run the unit 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

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

2. Clean the Outside

Remove debris from the system. 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 cautious with these fine coils. Misshapen or crinkled fins can impact efficiency.

3. Fix Bent Fins

Use a butter knife to straighten bent fins. You can also buy a fin comb from an appliance parts retailer. A pro from Controlled Comfort HVAC Inc should fix severe damage.

4. Clean the Inside

After taking out the fan, pull out leaves and other yard litter. Then clean the inside of the equipment with a wet rag.

The only coil cleaner you have to have is water. Use gentle pressure from a hose nozzle to wash the fins, showering water from the inside out. Put the fan back in 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 operating properly, give us a call at 224-412-8308.

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 few months, depending on the model you use.

Can’t remember when you last checked yours? Pull it out and tilt it toward the light. If light isn’t 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 dirty, you can clean it by draining water-down bleach through the tube to sanitize 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 Controlled Comfort HVAC Inc can make your unit more efficient and help it last longer. We also have handy service agreements, so you won’t forget to plan your routine maintenance!

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