tools for an air conditioner service

Tips for Cleaning Your AC System

With summer ending in Phoenix, now is a good time to get a head start on air conditioner maintenance.

If you haven’t taken care of it this year, it could be blocked with mud and yard waste. This accumulation can decrease your unit’s efficiency and cause it to break down. Or require replacement faster.

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

Routine AC maintenance also helps our technicians locate and handle minor issues before they become expensive problems.

Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner from Failing

Some of the work we do involves:

  • Inspecting the blower, motor, drain line and coils
  • Watching pressure and temperature
  • Examining lines, refrigerant amounts and connections

It’s not too late to have a tune-up done this fall—and we can get your furnace prepped for heating season too.

Schedule maintenance now


There’s also some upkeep you can do by yourself between professional tune-ups. You just need about an hour to clean your outdoor condenser unit, as well as several parts 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 temperate day to wash your air conditioner. At least 60 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) is best. That way, you can run your system once you’ve cleaned it.

You’ll only need a couple 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 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 transfer heat away from your equipment.

You need to be cautious with these delicate coils. Bent or crumpled fins can influence efficiency.

3. Fix Bent Fins

Use a butter knife to adjust misshapen fins. You can also buy a fin comb from an appliance parts retailer. A pro from Dial One Mears Air Conditioning & Heating Inc should fix 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 cloth.

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. 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 operating like it should, give us a call at 602-832-7808.

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 juice to your furnace at the breaker box.

2. Check Your Filter

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

Can’t remember when you last put in a new one? Take it out and tilt it toward the light. If light isn’t visible, replace it.

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 moldy, you can clean it by pouring thinned bleach through the tube to flush the line. Or you can get a new tube.

Clean 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 Dial One Mears Air Conditioning & Heating Inc 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 regular maintenance!

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