tools for an air conditioner service

Tips for Cleaning Your AC System

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

If you haven’t washed it lately, it could be clogged with dust and yard waste. This collection can limit your unit’s efficiency and cause it to break down. Or make it wear out sooner.

We suggest having your air conditioning system professionally maintained once a year. Why? Clean equipment can be more energy efficient, which could save you money on electric costs.

Consistent AC maintenance also helps our technicians spot and handle small issues before they turn into expensive problems.

Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner from Failing

Some of the work we complete involves:

  • Inspecting the blower, motor, drain line and coils
  • Checking pressure and temperature
  • Testing lines, refrigerant amounts 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 work you can do alone between professional tune-ups. It only takes about an hour to clean your outdoor condenser unit, as well as several 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 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 power 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 run the vacuum to slowly clean the metallic fins. These parts are also referred to as condenser coils and move heat away from your equipment.

You need to be careful with these delicate coils. Warped or crushed fins can affect efficiency.

3. Fix Bent Fins

Use a butter knife to straighten warped fins. You can also buy a fin comb from an appliance parts store. A pro from Freed Heating & Air Conditioning should take care of severe damage.

4. Clean the Inside

After extracting the fan, pull out leaves and other yard waste. Then wipe the inside of the equipment with a wet cloth.

The only coil cleaner you should use is water. Use slight pressure from a hose nozzle to rinse the fins, directing water from the inside out. Replace the fan once you’re finished.

5. Test Your Air Conditioner

It’s safe to restore power and turn your air conditioner back on. If it’s not running properly, give 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

Stop the power to your furnace at the breaker box.

2. Check Your Filter

Furnace filters should be changed every couple of months, depending on the type you use.

Can’t remember when you last put in a new one? Pull it out and tilt it toward the light. If light isn’t visible, 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 supple plastic tube. If it’s scummy, you can clean it by flowing water-down bleach through the tube to clean the line. Or you can buy a new tube.

Clean the drain port using a small, round paintbrush. Hook up 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 Freed Heating & Air Conditioning can make your unit more efficient and help it last longer. We also offer convenient service agreements, so you won’t forget to book your regular service!

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