Tips for Cleaning Your AC System

September 20, 2019

With summer coming to an end in Racine, now is an ideal time to get a kick start on air conditioner maintenance.

If you haven’t taken care of it this year, it could be clogged with dust and debris from your yard. This accumulation can decrease your unit’s efficiency and cause it to break down. Or wear it down more quickly.

We suggest having your air conditioning system professionally tuned-up every year. Why? Clean equipment can be more energy efficient, which could save you money on utility costs.

Consistent AC maintenance also helps our technicians locate and address slight issues before they turn into costly problems.

Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner from Failing

Some of the work we complete includes:

  • Viewing the blower, motor, drain line and coils
  • Checking pressure and temperature
  • Examining lines, refrigerant levels 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 alone between professional tune-ups. It only takes about an hour to get the grime off your outdoor condenser unit, as well as several 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

Select a temperate day to scrub your air conditioner. At least 60 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) is great. That way, you can check your equipment once you’ve cleaned it.

You’ll only need a few 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

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

2. Clean the Outside

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

Then use the vacuum to slowly clean the metallic fins. These pieces are also called as condenser coils and move heat away from your equipment.

You need to be cautious with these fine coils. Misshapen or crushed fins can impact efficiency.

3. Fix Bent Fins

Use a butter knife to rearrange warped fins. You can also get a fin comb from an appliance parts store. A pro from Keystone Heating & Air Conditioning Co., Inc should fix extensive damage.

4. Clean the Inside

After removing the fan, fish out leaves and other yard rubbish. Then mop the inside of the unit with a wet sponge.

The only coil cleaner you have to have is water. Use slight pressure from a hose nozzle to clean the fins, spraying water from the inside out. Reinstall the fan 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 operating properly, contact us a call at 262-358-9468.

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 electricity to your furnace at the breaker box.

2. Check Your Filter

Furnace filters must be replaced every few months, depending on the kind you use.

Unsure when you last checked yours? Take it out and angle it toward the light. If there’s no light visible, replace it.

3. Clean the Inside

Remove the blower door and vacuum up dust.

Then inspect your air conditioner’s drain line—it’s a supple plastic tube. If it’s scummy, you can clean it by pouring water-down bleach through the tube to sanitize the line. Or you can buy a new tube.

Clean the drain port using a small, round paintbrush. Hook up 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 Keystone Heating & Air Conditioning Co., Inc can make your equipment more efficient and help it last longer. We also provide handy service agreements, so you won’t forget to book your regular tune-up!