Tips for Cleaning Your AC System

September 20, 2019

With summer coming to an end in Saint Petersburg, now is a good time to get ahead on air conditioner maintenance.

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

We suggest having your air conditioning system professionally serviced every year. Why? A clean system can be more energy efficient, which could save you money on electric costs.

Consistent AC maintenance also helps our technicians discover and take care of minor issues before they become high-priced problems.

Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner from Failing

Some of the work we do includes:

  • Viewing the blower, motor, drain line and coils
  • Watching pressure and temperature
  • Examining lines, refrigerant totals 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 maintenance you can do by yourself between professional tune-ups. You only need about an hour to clean your outdoor condenser unit, as well as a few 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 clean your air conditioner. At least 60 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) is great. That way, you can test your system 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

Switch off the electricity to your air conditioner at the breaker box.

2. Clean the Outside

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

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

You need to be careful with these delicate coils. Warped or crumpled fins can influence efficiency.

3. Fix Bent Fins

Use a butter knife to straighten misshapen fins. You can also get a fin comb from an appliance parts website. A pro from Hale's Air Conditioning Services Inc should handle extensive damage.

4. Clean the Inside

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

The only coil cleaner you need is water. Use light pressure from a hose nozzle to clean the fins, spraying water from the inside out. Replace the fan once you’re finished.

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, reach out to us a call at 727-369-6195.

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

3 Steps to Clean the Indoor Unit

1. Turn Off the Power

Cut the power to your furnace at the breaker box.

2. Check Your Filter

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

Not sure when you last replaced 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 examine your air conditioner’s drain line—it’s a supple plastic tube. If it’s moldy, you can sanitize it by flowing water-down bleach through the tube to sanitize the line. Or you can get a new tube.

Scrub the drain port using a small, round paintbrush. Hook up 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 Hale's Air Conditioning Services Inc can make your unit more efficient and help it last longer. We also provide convenient service agreements, so you won’t forget to book your annual tune-up!