tools for an air conditioner service

Tips for Cleaning Your AC System

With summer ending in Alice, now is an ideal time to get a head start on air conditioner maintenance.

If you haven’t washed it recently, it could be clogged with mud and yard waste. This accumulation can limit your unit’s efficiency and cause it to break down. Or require replacement faster.

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

Regular AC maintenance also helps our technicians discover and address minor issues before they become high-priced problems.

Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner from Failing

Some of the work we do consists of:

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

There’s still time 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 only need about an hour to get the grime off your outdoor condenser unit, as well as a few 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

Choose a mild day to clean your air conditioner. At least 60 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) is ideal. That way, you can run your equipment once you’ve cleaned it.

You’ll only need a couple of tools:

  • 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

Remove debris from the unit. This includes branches, bushes, weeds and grass.

Then turn on the vacuum to cautiously clean the metallic fins. These components are also referred to as condenser coils and transfer heat away from your equipment.

You need to be cautious with these fine coils. Warped or crushed fins can influence efficiency.

3. Fix Bent Fins

Use a butter knife to straighten bent fins. You can also use a fin comb from an appliance parts website. A pro from Rescue Heating & Air should fix extensive damage.

4. Clean the Inside

After taking out the fan, dig out leaves and other yard rubbish. Then wipe the inside of the equipment with a wet rag.

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

5. Test Your Air Conditioner

You can now restore power and turn your air conditioner back on. If it’s not working properly, reach out to 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 juice to your furnace at the breaker box.

2. Check Your Filter

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

Can’t remember when you last checked yours? Take it out and angle it toward the light. If light isn’t visible, 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 flexible plastic tube. If it’s moldy, you can clean it by flowing thinned bleach through the tube to flush the line. Or you can get a new 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 system more efficient and help it last longer. We also have practical service agreements, so you won’t forget to plan your routine maintenance!

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