tools for an air conditioner service

Tips for Cleaning Your AC System

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

If you haven’t taken care of it lately, it could be blocked with mud and yard waste. This collection can limit your unit’s efficiency and cause it to break down. Or wear it down faster.

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

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

Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner from Failing

Some of the work we complete involves:

  • Viewing the blower, motor, drain line and coils
  • Checking 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 get the grime off your outdoor condenser unit, as well as several 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

Choose a temperate day to scrub 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 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 electricity 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 use the vacuum to gently clean the metallic fins. These pieces are also referred to as condenser coils and transfer heat away from your unit.

You need to be careful with these fine coils. Misshapen or crushed fins can affect efficiency.

3. Fix Bent Fins

Use a butter knife to straighten bent fins. You can also use a fin comb from an appliance parts retailer. A pro from Brogan Heating & AC Inc should take care of large amounts of damage.

4. Clean the Inside

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

The only coil cleaner you have to have is water. Use slight pressure from a hose nozzle to rinse the fins, showering water from the inside out. Reinstall the fan once you’re done.

5. Test Your Air Conditioner

Now it’s time to restore power and turn your air conditioner back on. If it’s not working correctly, reach out to us a call at 507-218-0088.

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 need to be replaced every couple of months, depending on the type you use.

Unsure when you last checked yours? Remove it and angle 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 pliable plastic tube. If it’s scummy, you can clean it by flowing thinned bleach through the tube to clean the line. Or you can get a new tube.

Scrub the drain port using a small, round paintbrush. Reconnect the drain tube and switch 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 Brogan Heating & AC Inc can make your equipment more efficient and help it last longer. We also provide handy service agreements, so you won’t forget to plan your annual tune-up!

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