tools for an air conditioner service

Tips for Cleaning Your AC System

With summer ending in Racine, now is an ideal time to get ahead on air conditioner maintenance.

If you haven’t washed it this year, it could be clogged with mud 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 advise having your air conditioning system professionally tuned-up annually. Why? A clean system can be more energy efficient, which could save you money on utility expenses.

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

Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner from Failing

Some of the work we perform includes:

  • Taking a look at the blower, motor, drain line and coils
  • Checking pressure and temperature
  • Examining lines, refrigerant amounts 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 wash your outdoor condenser unit, as well as several 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

Pick a temperate day to scrub your air conditioner. At least 60 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) is great. That way, you can run your system 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 electricity 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 components are also referred to as condenser coils and move heat away from your unit.

You need to be careful with these delicate coils. Warped 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 take care of extensive damage.

4. Clean the Inside

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

The only coil cleaner you have to have is water. Use gentle pressure from a hose nozzle to clean the fins, spraying water from the inside out. Reinstall the fan once you’re completed.

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

Stop 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.

Can’t remember when you last checked yours? Take it out and tilt 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 clean 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 have handy service agreements, so you won’t forget to schedule your annual tune-up!

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