Tips for Cleaning Your AC System

September 20, 2019

With summer coming to an end in Rocky Mount, now is an ideal time to get a head start on air conditioner maintenance.

If you haven’t taken care of it recently, it could be clogged with mud and yard refuse. This collection can decrease your unit’s efficiency and cause it to malfunction. Or make it wear out more quickly.

We suggest having your air conditioning system professionally maintained annually. Why? Clean equipment can be more energy efficient, which could save you money on utility bills.

Consistent AC maintenance also helps our technicians discover and address slight issues before they become expensive problems.

Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner from Failing

Some of the work we do consists of:

  • Inspecting the blower, motor, drain line and coils
  • Confirming 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 prepared for heating season too.

Schedule maintenance now


There’s also some upkeep you can do on your own between professional tune-ups. It only takes about an hour to get the grime off your outdoor condenser unit, as well as a few 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

Select a temperate day to clean your air conditioner. At least 60 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) is best. That way, you can run your equipment once you’ve cleaned it.

You’ll only need a couple of items:

  • 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

Take out debris from the system. This includes branches, bushes, weeds and grass.

Then use the vacuum to gently clean the metallic fins. These parts are also known as condenser coils and divert heat away from your system.

You need to be cautious with these delicate coils. Misshapen or crumpled fins can affect efficiency.

3. Fix Bent Fins

Use a butter knife to straighten bent fins. You can also get a fin comb from an appliance parts website. A pro from Davis Heating & Air Conditioning should fix large amounts of damage.

4. Clean the Inside

After extracting the fan, pull out leaves and other yard rubbish. Then clean the inside of the system with a wet sponge.

The only coil cleaner you have to have is water. Use slight pressure from a hose nozzle to clean the fins, showering water from the inside out. Reinstall 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 like it should, give us a call at 540-369-3790.

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 juice to your furnace at the breaker box.

2. Check Your Filter

Furnace filters need to be exchanged every several months, depending on the type you use.

Not sure when you last put in a new one? Take it out and hold it up to the light. If light isn’t visible, replace it.

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 pliable plastic tube. If it’s scummy, you can sanitize it by draining diluted bleach through the tube to flush the line. Or you can get a new tube.

Clean 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 Davis Heating & Air Conditioning can make your unit more efficient and help it last longer. We also have practical service agreements, so you won’t forget to schedule your regular maintenance!