Tips for Cleaning Your AC System

September 20, 2019

With summer coming to an end in Alice, now is a great time to get ahead on air conditioner maintenance.

If you haven’t washed it recently, it could be full of dirt and yard waste. This collection can decrease your unit’s efficiency and cause it to break down. Or wear it down more quickly.

We suggest having your air conditioning system professionally tuned-up once a year. Why? Clean equipment can be more energy efficient, which could save you money on energy bills.

Consistent AC maintenance also helps our technicians locate and take care of small issues before they develop into costly 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
  • Watching pressure and temperature
  • Testing lines, refrigerant amounts and connections

You can still 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. You only need 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 temperate day to wash your air conditioner. At least 60 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) is great. That way, you can test your equipment once you’ve cleaned it.

You’ll only need a couple 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

Stop the electricity to your air conditioner at the breaker box.

2. Clean the Outside

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

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

You need to be careful with these fine coils. Warped or crushed fins can affect efficiency.

3. Fix Bent Fins

Use a butter knife to rearrange misshapen fins. You can also buy a fin comb from an appliance parts retailer. A pro from Rescue Heating & Air should handle severe damage.

4. Clean the Inside

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

The only coil cleaner you have to have is water. Use light pressure from a hose nozzle to wash the fins, spraying water from the inside out. Put the fan back in once you’re done.

5. Test Your Air Conditioner

Now it’s time to restore power and turn your air conditioner back on. If it’s not operating like it should, contact us a call at 361-265-4371.

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 need to be exchanged every couple of months, depending on the kind you use.

Unsure when you last replaced yours? Pull it out and tilt it toward 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 pliable plastic tube. If it’s scummy, you can freshen it by flowing diluted bleach through the tube to flush the line. Or you can replace the tube.

Clean the drain port using a small, round paintbrush. Connect the drain tube and turn 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 Rescue Heating & Air can make your equipment more efficient and help it last longer. We also have handy service agreements, so you won’t forget to plan your annual maintenance!