Tips for Cleaning Your AC System

September 20, 2019

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

If you haven’t washed it recently, it could be clogged with dirt and debris from your yard. This accumulation can decrease your unit’s efficiency and cause it to stop working. Or wear it down sooner.

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

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

Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner from Failing

Some of the work we complete includes:

  • Taking a look at the blower, motor, drain line and coils
  • Checking pressure and temperature
  • Reviewing lines, refrigerant totals and connections

It’s not too late to have a tune-up 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. You only need about an hour to clean your outdoor condenser unit, as well as a few 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 wash your air conditioner. At least 60 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) is great. That way, you can run your equipment once you’ve cleaned it.

You’ll only need a couple 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

Stop the juice to your air conditioner at the breaker box.

2. Clean the Outside

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

Then run the vacuum to gently clean the metallic fins. These components are also referred to as condenser coils and move heat away from your system.

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

3. Fix Bent Fins

Use a butter knife to straighten warped fins. You can also use a fin comb from an appliance parts store. A pro from MPC Heating & Cooling should handle severe damage.

4. Clean the Inside

After taking out the fan, dig out leaves and other yard litter. Then clean 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 wash 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 operating correctly, reach out to us a call at 308-832-4321.

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

3 Steps to Clean the Indoor Unit

1. Turn Off the Power

Stop the juice to your furnace at the breaker box.

2. Check Your Filter

Furnace filters need to be exchanged every few months, depending on the kind 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, get 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 supple plastic tube. If it’s dirty, you can sanitize it by draining diluted bleach through the tube to flush the line. Or you can buy a new tube.

Scrub the drain port using a small, round paintbrush. Reconnect 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 MPC Heating & Cooling can make your system more efficient and help it last longer. We also offer convenient service agreements, so you won’t forget to book your regular maintenance!