Tips for Cleaning Your AC System

September 20, 2019

With summer coming to an end in Brookfield, now is an ideal 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 buildup can decrease your unit’s efficiency and cause it to break down. Or require replacement sooner.

We advise having your air conditioning system professionally serviced annually. Why? Clean equipment can be more energy efficient, which could save you money on energy costs.

Regular AC maintenance also helps our technicians discover and take care of minor issues before they turn into expensive problems.

Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner from Failing

Some of the work we do includes:

  • Viewing 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 prepped for heating season too.

Schedule maintenance now


There’s also some work 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 couple of 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

Select a temperate day to scrub your air conditioner. At least 60 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) is best. That way, you can check your equipment 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

Switch off the electricity to your air conditioner at the breaker box.

2. Clean the Outside

Empty waste from the unit. This includes branches, bushes, weeds and grass.

Then use the vacuum to gently clean the metallic fins. These pieces are also referred to as condenser coils and divert heat away from your system.

You need to be cautious with these fragile coils. Misshapen or crinkled fins can impact efficiency.

3. Fix Bent Fins

Use a butter knife to rearrange warped fins. You can also use a fin comb from an appliance parts website. A pro from Central Air LLC should handle severe damage.

4. Clean the Inside

After taking out the fan, pull out leaves and other yard litter. Then mop the inside of the unit with a wet cloth.

The only coil cleaner you need is water. Use gentle pressure from a hose nozzle to rinse the fins, spraying water from the inside out. Replace the fan 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, give us a call at 203-357-5913.

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

3 Steps to Clean the Indoor Unit

1. Turn Off the Power

Stop the electricity to your furnace at the breaker box.

2. Check Your Filter

Furnace filters should be changed every couple of months, depending on the type you use.

Not sure when you last put in a new one? Remove it and tilt it toward the light. If you can’t see light through it, 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 flexible plastic tube. If it’s moldy, you can freshen it by pouring diluted bleach through the tube to flush the line. Or you can buy a new tube.

Clean the drain port using a small, round paintbrush. Connect the drain tube and switch 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 Central Air LLC can make your unit more efficient and help it last longer. We also have convenient service agreements, so you won’t forget to plan your routine service!