tools for an air conditioner service

Tips for Cleaning Your AC System

With summer ending in McHenry, now is a good time to get a head start on air conditioner maintenance.

If you haven’t cleaned it lately, it could be blocked with mud and yard refuse. This collection can limit your unit’s efficiency and cause it to break down. Or wear it down sooner.

We advise 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 costs.

Regular AC maintenance also helps our technicians spot and take care of slight issues before they become expensive problems.

Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner from Failing

Some of the work we do involves:

  • Inspecting the blower, motor, drain line and coils
  • Watching pressure and temperature
  • Reviewing lines, refrigerant levels and connections

It’s not too late to have maintenance 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 alone between professional tune-ups. You just need about an hour to clean 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 temperate day to scrub your air conditioner. At least 60 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) is best. That way, you can run your system once you’ve cleaned it.

You’ll only need a handful of things:

  • 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

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

Then run the vacuum to slowly clean the metallic fins. These parts are also called as condenser coils and transfer heat away from your system.

You need to be considerate of these fine coils. Warped or crinkled fins can impact efficiency.

3. Fix Bent Fins

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

4. Clean the Inside

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

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

5. Test Your Air Conditioner

Now it’s time to restore power and turn your air conditioner back on. If it’s not running correctly, contact us a call at 815-410-1128.

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

3 Steps to Clean the Indoor Unit

1. Turn Off the Power

Stop the power to your furnace at the breaker box.

2. Check Your Filter

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

Unsure when you last checked yours? Pull it out and hold it up to the light. If there’s no light visible, buy a new one.

3. Clean the Inside

Remove the blower door and vacuum up dust.

Then examine your air conditioner’s drain line—it’s a pliable plastic tube. If it’s dirty, you can freshen it by pouring diluted bleach through the tube to clean the line. Or you can replace the tube.

Clean 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 can make your system more efficient and help it last longer. We also offer convenient service agreements, so you won’t forget to schedule your regular service!

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