Tips for Cleaning Your AC System

September 20, 2019

With summer winding down in Franklin, now is an ideal time to get a kick start on air conditioner maintenance.

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

We recommend having your air conditioning system professionally serviced once a year. Why? A clean system can be more energy efficient, which could save you money on energy costs.

Regular AC maintenance also helps our technicians spot and address small issues before they become expensive problems.

Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner from Failing

Some of the work we do includes:

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

It’s not too late to have a tune-up done this fall—and we can get your furnace prepped for heating season too.

Schedule maintenance now


There’s also some upkeep you can do by yourself between professional tune-ups. You just need about an hour to get the grime off 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 warm 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 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

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

2. Clean the Outside

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

Then run the vacuum to cautiously clean the metallic fins. These components are also called as condenser coils and move heat away from your unit.

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

3. Fix Bent Fins

Use a butter knife to rearrange warped fins. You can also buy a fin comb from an appliance parts website. A pro from Winters Heating and Cooling should fix large amounts of damage.

4. Clean the Inside

After extracting the fan, dig out leaves and other yard waste. Then mop the inside of the system with a wet rag.

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

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, give us a call at 317-406-5783.

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 should be exchanged every couple of months, depending on the type you use.

Unsure when you last put in a new one? Pull it out and angle it toward the light. If you can’t see light through it, get 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 pliable plastic tube. If it’s scummy, you can freshen it by pouring diluted bleach through the tube to clean the line. Or you can buy a new tube.

Clean 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 Winters Heating and Cooling can make your system more efficient and help it last longer. We also offer convenient service agreements, so you won’t forget to book your regular tune-up!