Tips for Cleaning Your AC System

September 20, 2019

With summer winding down in Moline, now is a good time to get ahead on air conditioner maintenance.

If you haven’t taken care of it recently, it could be full of dust and debris from your yard. This accumulation can limit your unit’s efficiency and cause it to stop working. Or require replacement sooner.

We advise 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.

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

Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner from Failing

Some of the work we complete includes:

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

There’s still time to have service done this fall—and we can get your furnace prepared for heating season too.

Schedule maintenance now


There’s also some work you can do alone between professional tune-ups. It only takes about an hour to wash your outdoor condenser unit, as well as a couple of 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 warm day to wash your air conditioner. At least 60 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) is great. That way, you can check the unit once you’ve cleaned it.

You’ll only need a handful 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

Cut the electricity to your air conditioner at the breaker box.

2. Clean the Outside

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

Then turn on the vacuum to cautiously clean the metallic fins. These components are also known as condenser coils and divert heat away from your system.

You need to be cautious with these fragile coils. Misshapen or crushed fins can affect efficiency.

3. Fix Bent Fins

Use a butter knife to straighten warped fins. You can also get a fin comb from an appliance parts store. A pro from Freed Heating & Air Conditioning should handle extensive damage.

4. Clean the Inside

After removing the fan, fish out leaves and other yard waste. Then mop the inside of the equipment with a wet cloth.

The only coil cleaner you should use is water. Use light pressure from a hose nozzle to clean the fins, showering water from the inside out. Replace the fan once you’re completed.

5. Test Your Air Conditioner

Now it’s time to restore power and turn your air conditioner back on. If it’s not working like it should, reach out to us a call at 309-323-9584.

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 need to be changed every several months, depending on the kind you use.

Not sure when you last checked yours? Remove it and angle it toward the light. If you can’t see light through it, replace it.

3. Clean the Inside

Remove the blower door and vacuum up dust.

Then inspect your air conditioner’s drain line—it’s a flexible plastic tube. If it’s scummy, you can freshen it by pouring thinned bleach through the tube to clean the line. Or you can buy a new tube.

Wash 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 Freed Heating & Air Conditioning can make your equipment more efficient and help it last longer. We also provide handy service agreements, so you won’t forget to book your annual maintenance!