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Tips for Cleaning Your AC System

September 20, 2019

With summer winding down in Magnolia, now is an ideal time to get a head start on air conditioner maintenance.

If you haven’t washed it recently, it could be full of dirt and debris from your yard. This accumulation can limit your unit’s efficiency and cause it to stop working. Or wear it down sooner.

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

Regular AC maintenance also helps our technicians locate and handle small issues before they become high-priced problems.

Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner from Failing

Some of the work we do involves:

  • Viewing the blower, motor, drain line and coils
  • Watching 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 prepped for heating season too.

Schedule maintenance now


There’s also some work you can do alone between professional tune-ups. You only need about an hour to clean 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

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 equipment once you’ve cleaned it.

You’ll only need a few 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

Switch off the electricity to your air conditioner at the breaker box.

2. Clean the Outside

Empty rubbish from the unit. This includes branches, bushes, weeds and grass.

Then run the vacuum to gently clean the metallic fins. These components are also referred to as condenser coils and divert heat away from your system.

You need to be cautious with these fine coils. Bent or crinkled 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 JTech Mechanical should handle severe damage.

4. Clean the Inside

After taking out the fan, pull out leaves and other yard litter. Then mop the inside of the equipment with a wet rag.

The only coil cleaner you need is water. Use slight pressure from a hose nozzle to wash the fins, directing water from the inside out. Reinstall the fan once you’re completed.

5. Test Your Air Conditioner

It’s safe to restore power and turn your air conditioner back on. If it’s not running correctly, reach out to us a call at 281-231-8768.

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 electricity to your furnace at the breaker box.

2. Check Your Filter

Furnace filters should be changed every few months, depending on the kind you use.

Not sure when you last put in a new one? Pull it out and angle it toward the light. If light isn’t visible, buy a new one.

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 dirty, you can sanitize it by flowing 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. 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 JTech Mechanical can make your system more efficient and help it last longer. We also offer convenient service agreements, so you won’t forget to plan your regular service!