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Tips for Cleaning Your AC System

September 20, 2019

With summer winding down in Carpentersville, now is an ideal time to get ahead on air conditioner maintenance.

If you haven’t cleaned it recently, it could be clogged with mud and debris from your yard. This buildup can reduce your unit’s efficiency and cause it to stop working. Or require replacement sooner.

We recommend having your air conditioning system professionally serviced annually. Why? Clean equipment can be more energy efficient, which could save you money on utility costs.

Regular AC maintenance also helps our technicians spot and address slight issues before they turn into expensive problems.

Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner from Failing

Some of the work we complete includes:

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

You can still have a tune-up 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 by yourself between professional tune-ups. It only takes about an hour to clean your outdoor condenser unit, as well as a couple of 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

Choose a temperate day to clean your air conditioner. At least 60 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) is best. 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

Switch off the power 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 run the vacuum to slowly clean the metallic fins. These parts are also known as condenser coils and move heat away from your system.

You need to be considerate of these fine coils. Misshapen 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 Controlled Comfort HVAC Inc should handle severe damage.

4. Clean the Inside

After removing the fan, fish out leaves and other yard rubbish. Then clean the inside of the unit with a wet sponge.

The only coil cleaner you should use is water. Use slight pressure from a hose nozzle to wash the fins, directing water from the inside out. Replace the fan once you’re done.

5. Test Your Air Conditioner

It’s safe to restore power and turn your air conditioner back on. If it’s not working correctly, reach out to 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

Turn off the electricity to your furnace at the breaker box.

2. Check Your Filter

Furnace filters need to be changed every couple of months, depending on the kind you use.

Unsure when you last replaced yours? Pull it out and angle it toward the light. If you can’t see light through it, 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 scummy, you can clean it by pouring diluted bleach through the tube to sanitize the line. Or you can replace the tube.

Wash the drain port using a small, round paintbrush. Connect the drain tube and restore power.

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 system more efficient and help it last longer. We also provide convenient service agreements, so you won’t forget to schedule your regular maintenance!