tools for an air conditioner service

Tips for Cleaning Your AC System

With summer ending in Opelika, now is an ideal time to get a head start on air conditioner maintenance.

If you haven’t washed it lately, it could be blocked with dust and yard refuse. This buildup can decrease your unit’s efficiency and cause it to malfunction. Or make it wear out sooner.

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 electric expenses.

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

Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner from Failing

Some of the work we complete includes:

  • Taking a look at the blower, motor, drain line and coils
  • Confirming pressure and temperature
  • Reviewing lines, refrigerant amounts and connections

There’s still time to have maintenance 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 wash your outdoor condenser unit, as well as several 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 scrub your air conditioner. At least 60 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) is best. That way, you can run your equipment 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

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

2. Clean the Outside

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

Then run the vacuum to cautiously clean the metallic fins. These components are also called as condenser coils and transfer heat away from your equipment.

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 misshapen fins. You can also buy a fin comb from an appliance parts store. A pro from Farnell Mechanical, Inc. should fix extensive damage.

4. Clean the Inside

After removing the fan, pull out leaves and other yard litter. Then clean the inside of the system with a wet sponge.

The only coil cleaner you should use is water. Use light pressure from a hose nozzle to rinse the fins, spraying water from the inside out. Replace the fan once you’re finished.

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 334-245-4748.

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

3 Steps to Clean the Indoor Unit

1. Turn Off the Power

Cut the juice to your furnace at the breaker box.

2. Check Your Filter

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

Unsure when you last checked yours? Take it out and angle it toward 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 take a look at your air conditioner’s drain line—it’s a flexible plastic tube. If it’s moldy, you can sanitize it by draining water-down 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 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 Farnell Mechanical, Inc. 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 routine tune-up!

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