Tips for Cleaning Your AC System

September 20, 2019

With summer winding down in Chatsworth, now is a great time to get ahead on air conditioner maintenance.

If you haven’t taken care of it recently, it could be clogged with dust and yard refuse. This collection can limit your unit’s efficiency and cause it to malfunction. Or wear it down faster.

We recommend 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 energy costs.

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

Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner from Failing

Some of the work we perform includes:

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

There’s still time to 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 work you can do alone between professional tune-ups. You only need about an hour to get the grime off your outdoor condenser unit, as well as a few components 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 mild day to clean your air conditioner. At least 60 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) is best. That way, you can test your system 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 juice to your air conditioner at the breaker box.

2. Clean the Outside

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

Then run the vacuum to slowly clean the metallic fins. These pieces are also referred to as condenser coils and divert heat away from your unit.

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

3. Fix Bent Fins

Use a butter knife to straighten warped fins. You can also buy a fin comb from an appliance parts store. A pro from True Temp Heating & Air Inc should take care of severe damage.

4. Clean the Inside

After extracting 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 need is water. Use light pressure from a hose nozzle to clean the fins, showering water from the inside out. Reinstall the fan 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 operating correctly, contact us a call at 706-695-7492.

Related: Air Conditioner Service: Pay a Little Now, Save Later

3 Steps to Clean the Indoor Unit

1. Turn Off the Power

Stop the power to your furnace at the breaker box.

2. Check Your Filter

Furnace filters must be exchanged every several months, depending on the type you use.

Not sure when you last replaced yours? 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 examine your air conditioner’s drain line—it’s a pliable plastic tube. If it’s dirty, you can clean it by pouring thinned bleach through the tube to clean the line. Or you can get a new tube.

Scrub the drain port using a small, round paintbrush. Hook up 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 True Temp Heating & Air Inc can make your unit more efficient and help it last longer. We also have practical service agreements, so you won’t forget to plan your annual service!