Tips for Cleaning Your AC System

September 20, 2019

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

If you haven’t taken care of it recently, it could be blocked with dirt and debris from your yard. This accumulation can reduce your unit’s efficiency and cause it to malfunction. Or wear it down more quickly.

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

Consistent AC maintenance also helps our technicians locate and handle small issues before they develop into expensive problems.

Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner from Failing

Some of the work we perform consists of:

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

You can still have a tune-up 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. It only takes about an hour to clean 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

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

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

2. Clean the Outside

Remove rubbish from the equipment. This includes branches, bushes, weeds and grass.

Then turn on the vacuum to gently clean the metallic fins. These components are also known as condenser coils and divert heat away from your equipment.

You need to be considerate of these fine coils. Warped or crinkled fins can affect efficiency.

3. Fix Bent Fins

Use a butter knife to adjust bent fins. You can also use a fin comb from an appliance parts retailer. A pro from Lanz Furnace and Fireplace should handle large amounts of damage.

4. Clean the Inside

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

The only coil cleaner you need 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 finished.

5. Test Your Air Conditioner

Now it’s time to restore power and turn your air conditioner back on. If it’s not running properly, reach out to us a call at 608-291-3606.

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 juice to your furnace at the breaker box.

2. Check Your Filter

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

Not sure when you last replaced yours? Remove it and hold it up to the light. If light isn’t visible, replace it.

3. Clean the Inside

Remove the blower door and vacuum up dust.

Then examine your air conditioner’s drain line—it’s a supple plastic tube. If it’s dirty, you can clean it by flowing water-down bleach through the tube to sanitize the line. Or you can get a new tube.

Scrub the drain port using a small, round paintbrush. Reconnect 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 Lanz Furnace and Fireplace can make your unit more efficient and help it last longer. We also provide convenient service agreements, so you won’t forget to schedule your regular tune-up!