Tips for Cleaning Your AC System

September 20, 2019

With summer winding down in Hamilton, now is a great time to get a head start 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 stop working. Or require replacement sooner.

We advise having your air conditioning system professionally serviced annually. Why? A clean system can be more energy efficient, which could save you money on electric expenses.

Consistent AC maintenance also helps our technicians locate and handle minor issues before they develop 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
  • Testing lines, refrigerant levels and connections

It’s not too late to have service done this fall—and we can get your furnace prepared for heating season too.

Schedule maintenance now


There’s also some maintenance you can do on your own between professional tune-ups. It only takes 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

Pick a mild day to scrub your air conditioner. At least 60 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) is best. That way, you can run the unit once you’ve cleaned it.

You’ll only need a handful of 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 equipment. This includes branches, bushes, weeds and grass.

Then turn on the vacuum to cautiously clean the metallic fins. These components are also known as condenser coils and divert heat away from your system.

You need to be careful with these fine coils. Misshapen or crumpled fins can influence efficiency.

3. Fix Bent Fins

Use a butter knife to adjust warped fins. You can also use a fin comb from an appliance parts store. A pro from Carefree Heating and Cooling, LLC should fix extensive damage.

4. Clean the Inside

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

The only coil cleaner you have to have is water. Use slight pressure from a hose nozzle to wash the fins, showering water from the inside out. Put the fan back in once you’re done.

5. Test Your Air Conditioner

It’s safe to restore power and turn your air conditioner back on. If it’s not operating properly, give us a call at 513-268-5164.

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

3 Steps to Clean the Indoor Unit

1. Turn Off the Power

Cut the juice to your furnace at the breaker box.

2. Check Your Filter

Furnace filters should be changed every several months, depending on the kind you use.

Can’t remember when you last replaced yours? Pull it out and angle it toward the light. If light isn’t visible, get a new one.

3. Clean the Inside

Remove the blower door and vacuum up dust.

Then take a look at your air conditioner’s drain line—it’s a pliable plastic tube. If it’s dirty, you can clean it by draining diluted bleach through the tube to sanitize the line. Or you can buy a new tube.

Scrub the drain port using a small, round paintbrush. Connect 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 Carefree Heating and Cooling, LLC can make your system more efficient and help it last longer. We also have convenient service agreements, so you won’t forget to plan your routine maintenance!