Tips for Cleaning Your AC System

September 20, 2019

With summer winding down in Saint Petersburg, now is a good time to get a kick start on air conditioner maintenance.

If you haven’t washed it lately, it could be full of dirt and debris from your yard. This buildup can limit your unit’s efficiency and cause it to stop working. Or require replacement faster.

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

Consistent AC maintenance also helps our technicians spot and handle small issues before they become high-priced problems.

Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner from Failing

Some of the work we do consists of:

  • Viewing the blower, motor, drain line and coils
  • Checking pressure and temperature
  • Testing lines, refrigerant levels and connections

There’s still time to have maintenance done this fall—and we can get your furnace prepped 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 wash 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

Choose a temperate day to wash 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 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 power to your air conditioner at the breaker box.

2. Clean the Outside

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

Then run the vacuum to cautiously clean the metallic fins. These pieces are also known as condenser coils and move heat away from your unit.

You need to be cautious with these fragile coils. Warped 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 website. A pro from Hale's Air Conditioning Services Inc should take care of large amounts of damage.

4. Clean the Inside

After extracting the fan, fish out leaves and other yard rubbish. Then mop the inside of the system with a wet cloth.

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

5. Test Your Air Conditioner

You can now restore power and turn your air conditioner back on. If it’s not running correctly, 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

Turn off the power 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.

Can’t remember when you last checked yours? Remove it and hold it up to 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 supple plastic tube. If it’s dirty, you can freshen it by draining diluted bleach through the tube to sanitize the line. Or you can replace the tube.

Wash the drain port using a small, round paintbrush. Reconnect 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 Hale's Air Conditioning Services Inc can make your equipment more efficient and help it last longer. We also provide convenient service agreements, so you won’t forget to schedule your annual maintenance!