Tips for Cleaning Your AC System

September 20, 2019

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

If you haven’t washed it this year, it could be full of mud and yard waste. This buildup can limit your unit’s efficiency and cause it to malfunction. Or make it wear out more quickly.

We advise having your air conditioning system professionally serviced annually. Why? A clean unit can be more energy efficient, which could save you money on energy costs.

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

Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner from Failing

Some of the work we do involves:

  • Taking a look at the blower, motor, drain line and coils
  • Confirming pressure and temperature
  • Examining lines, refrigerant amounts 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 maintenance you can do on your own between professional tune-ups. It only takes about an hour to wash your outdoor condenser unit, as well as a few 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

Select a mild 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 things:

  • 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

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

Then turn on the vacuum to slowly clean the metallic fins. These pieces are also referred to as condenser coils and move heat away from your system.

You need to be considerate of these fragile coils. Warped or crushed fins can impact 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 Durable Service should fix severe damage.

4. Clean the Inside

After removing the fan, fish out leaves and other yard litter. Then wipe the inside of the equipment with a wet rag.

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

5. Test Your Air Conditioner

You can now restore power and turn your air conditioner back on. If it’s not operating correctly, reach out to us a call at 308-995-8177.

Related: Air Conditioner Service: Pay a Little Now, Save Later

3 Steps to Clean the Indoor Unit

1. Turn Off the Power

Stop the electricity to your furnace at the breaker box.

2. Check Your Filter

Furnace filters need to be changed every couple of months, depending on the kind you use.

Not sure when you last replaced yours? Pull 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 flexible plastic tube. If it’s dirty, you can sanitize it by flowing diluted bleach through the tube to sanitize the line. Or you can replace the tube.

Clean the drain port using a small, round paintbrush. Connect 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 Durable Service can make your unit more efficient and help it last longer. We also provide convenient service agreements, so you won’t forget to plan your routine service!