tools for an air conditioner service

Tips for Cleaning Your AC System

With summer coming to an end in Plainfield, now is a good time to get ahead on air conditioner maintenance.

If you haven’t cleaned it lately, it could be blocked with dust and yard refuse. This collection can reduce your unit’s efficiency and cause it to break down. Or require replacement faster.

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

Routine AC maintenance also helps our technicians discover and take care of slight issues before they develop into costly 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 levels and connections

It’s not too late to have maintenance done this fall—and we can get your furnace ready for heating season too.

Schedule maintenance now


There’s also some maintenance you can do on your own between professional tune-ups. You only need about an hour to wash your outdoor condenser unit, as well as a couple of 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 great. That way, you can check your system once you’ve cleaned it.

You’ll only need a handful 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

Cut the power to your air conditioner at the breaker box.

2. Clean the Outside

Remove rubbish from the equipment. This includes branches, bushes, weeds and grass.

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

You need to be cautious with these fragile coils. Misshapen or crinkled fins can affect efficiency.

3. Fix Bent Fins

Use a butter knife to straighten warped fins. You can also buy a fin comb from an appliance parts store. A pro from PWA Heating & Cooling Inc should take care of severe damage.

4. Clean the Inside

After taking out the fan, dig out leaves and other yard litter. Then clean the inside of the unit with a wet sponge.

The only coil cleaner you need is water. Use gentle pressure from a hose nozzle to clean the fins, showering water from the inside out. Replace 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 running correctly, give us a call at 815-410-1231.

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 need to be changed every few months, depending on the model you use.

Not sure when you last checked yours? Take it out and hold it up to the light. If you can’t see light through it, buy a new one.

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 sanitize it by flowing thinned bleach through the tube to clean the line. Or you can buy a new tube.

Clean the drain port using a small, round paintbrush. Hook up 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 PWA Heating & Cooling Inc can make your equipment more efficient and help it last longer. We also have handy service agreements, so you won’t forget to book your regular service!

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