Tips for Cleaning Your AC System

September 20, 2019

With summer ending in Huffman, now is a good time to get ahead on air conditioner maintenance.

If you haven’t washed it this year, it could be clogged with dust and debris from your yard. This collection 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 utility costs.

Consistent AC maintenance also helps our technicians spot and take care of slight issues before they develop into costly problems.

Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner from Failing

Some of the work we complete includes:

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

You can still have service 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. 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

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

You’ll only need a few 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

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

2. Clean the Outside

Remove waste from the equipment. 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 transfer heat away from your equipment.

You need to be considerate of these fine coils. Bent or crushed fins can influence efficiency.

3. Fix Bent Fins

Use a butter knife to rearrange bent fins. You can also use a fin comb from an appliance parts store. A pro from Air Houston Mechanical LLC should handle extensive damage.

4. Clean the Inside

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

The only coil cleaner you should use is water. Use gentle pressure from a hose nozzle to rinse the fins, showering water from the inside out. Put the fan back in once you’re completed.

5. Test Your Air Conditioner

It’s safe to restore power and turn your air conditioner back on. If it’s not working like it should, contact us a call at 832-777-1521.

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 power to your furnace at the breaker box.

2. Check Your Filter

Furnace filters need to be exchanged every few months, depending on the kind you use.

Not sure when you last checked yours? Pull it out and hold it up to the light. If light isn’t visible, buy 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 freshen it by pouring 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 restore power.

Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner Running Well Through Fall

Never Forget a Tune-Up Again

Annual air conditioner maintenance from Air Houston Mechanical LLC can make your system more efficient and help it last longer. We also provide convenient service agreements, so you won’t forget to plan your annual maintenance!