Tips for Cleaning Your AC System

September 20, 2019

With summer coming to an end in Jefferson City, now is a great time to get ahead on air conditioner maintenance.

If you haven’t cleaned it lately, it could be full of mud and yard waste. This buildup can decrease your unit’s efficiency and cause it to malfunction. Or wear it down faster.

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

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

Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner from Failing

Some of the work we complete involves:

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

You can still have service 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 on your own between professional tune-ups. You just need about an hour to wash your outdoor condenser unit, as well as a couple of 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 warm day to clean 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 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 electricity to your air conditioner at the breaker box.

2. Clean the Outside

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

Then turn on the vacuum to gently clean the metallic fins. These components are also called as condenser coils and move heat away from your unit.

You need to be cautious with these delicate coils. Warped or crinkled fins can influence efficiency.

3. Fix Bent Fins

Use a butter knife to straighten misshapen fins. You can also use a fin comb from an appliance parts website. A pro from Stieferman Heating Company Inc should fix extensive damage.

4. Clean the Inside

After extracting the fan, fish out leaves and other yard waste. Then clean the inside of the unit with a wet rag.

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

5. Test Your Air Conditioner

You can now restore power and turn your air conditioner back on. If it’s not operating like it should, give us a call at 573-203-3908.

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 type you use.

Unsure when you last put in a new one? Take it out and angle it toward the light. If you can’t see light through it, buy 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 supple plastic tube. If it’s dirty, you can freshen it by flowing diluted 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 restore power.

Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner Running Well Through Fall

Never Forget a Tune-Up Again

Annual air conditioner maintenance from Stieferman Heating Company Inc can make your equipment more efficient and help it last longer. We also offer convenient service agreements, so you won’t forget to schedule your routine service!