Tips for Cleaning Your AC System

September 20, 2019

With summer ending in Bartlesville, 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 clogged with mud and debris from your yard. This collection can decrease your unit’s efficiency and cause it to stop working. Or require replacement faster.

We suggest having your air conditioning system professionally maintained 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 spot and address slight issues before they develop into expensive problems.

Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner from Failing

Some of the work we perform includes:

  • Viewing the blower, motor, drain line and coils
  • Confirming pressure and temperature
  • Testing lines, refrigerant levels and connections

There’s still time to 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 maintenance you can do on your own between professional tune-ups. You only need about an hour to clean 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 warm day to scrub your air conditioner. At least 60 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) is great. That way, you can run the unit 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 debris from the equipment. This includes branches, bushes, weeds and grass.

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

You need to be careful with these delicate coils. Warped or crumpled fins can influence efficiency.

3. Fix Bent Fins

Use a butter knife to rearrange misshapen fins. You can also buy a fin comb from an appliance parts website. A pro from Farris Heating & Air should take care of extensive damage.

4. Clean the Inside

After extracting the fan, pull out leaves and other yard litter. Then mop the inside of the unit with a wet cloth.

The only coil cleaner you need is water. Use slight pressure from a hose nozzle to wash the fins, spraying 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, contact us a call at 918-534-8194.

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

3 Steps to Clean the Indoor Unit

1. Turn Off the Power

Stop the juice to your furnace at the breaker box.

2. Check Your Filter

Furnace filters need to be replaced every several months, depending on the model you use.

Can’t remember when you last put in a new one? Remove it and hold it up to the light. If light isn’t visible, get 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 dirty, you can sanitize it by draining water-down bleach through the tube to clean the line. Or you can get a new tube.

Clean the drain port using a small, round paintbrush. Hook up 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 Farris Heating & Air can make your unit more efficient and help it last longer. We also offer convenient service agreements, so you won’t forget to book your regular maintenance!