tools for an air conditioner service

Tips for Cleaning Your AC System

With summer winding down in Rocky Mount, now is a great time to get a head start on air conditioner maintenance.

If you haven’t washed it this year, it could be blocked with dirt and yard refuse. This accumulation can limit your unit’s efficiency and cause it to stop working. Or require replacement sooner.

We recommend having your air conditioning system professionally serviced once a year. Why? A clean system can be more energy efficient, which could save you money on utility expenses.

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

Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner from Failing

Some of the work we perform consists of:

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

You can still 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 work you can do by yourself between professional tune-ups. You only need about an hour to wash 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

Pick a temperate day to clean your air conditioner. At least 60 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) is ideal. That way, you can test 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 electricity to your air conditioner at the breaker box.

2. Clean the Outside

Remove waste from the system. This includes branches, bushes, weeds and grass.

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

You need to be considerate of these fragile coils. Bent or crushed fins can affect efficiency.

3. Fix Bent Fins

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

4. Clean the Inside

After taking out the fan, fish out leaves and other yard rubbish. Then clean the inside of the system with a wet rag.

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

5. Test Your Air Conditioner

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

Stop the power to your furnace at the breaker box.

2. Check Your Filter

Furnace filters must be changed every couple of months, depending on the model you use.

Unsure when you last checked yours? Pull it out and hold it up to the light. If there’s no light 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 flexible plastic tube. If it’s scummy, you can sanitize it by pouring diluted bleach through the tube to clean the line. Or you can buy a new tube.

Wash the drain port using a small, round paintbrush. Reconnect 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 Davis Heating & Air Conditioning can make your unit more efficient and help it last longer. We also offer practical service agreements, so you won’t forget to plan your regular maintenance!

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