With summer coming to an end in Auburn and Opelika, now is a good time to get a head start on air conditioner maintenance.

If you haven’t washed it this year, it could be full of dirt and yard refuse. This buildup can decrease your unit’s efficiency and cause it to malfunction. Or require replacement more quickly.

We advise having your air conditioning system professionally maintained annually. Why? Clean equipment can be more energy efficient, which could save you money on electric costs.

Consistent AC maintenance also helps our technicians discover and handle slight issues before they become high-priced problems.

Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner from Failing

Some of the work we complete includes:

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

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

There’s also some work 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 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

Select a mild day to scrub your air conditioner. At least 60 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) is ideal. That way, you can run the unit 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

Five Steps to Clean the Outside Unit

1. Turn Off the Power

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

2. Clean the Outside

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

Then turn on the vacuum to gently clean the metallic fins. These components are also known as condenser coils and transfer heat away from your unit.

You need to be considerate of these fine coils. Misshapen or crushed fins can impact efficiency.

3. Fix Bent Fins

Use a butter knife to adjust bent fins. You can also buy a fin comb from an appliance part website. A pro from Farnell Mechanical, Inc. should take care of severe damage.

4. Clean the Inside

After extracting the fan, dig out leaves and other yard waste. Then mop the inside of the system with a wet rag.

The only coil cleaner you have to have is water. Use slight pressure from a hose nozzle to clean the fins, directing water from the inside out. Replace the fan once you’re finished.

5. Test Your Air Conditioner

Now it’s time to restore power and turn your air conditioner back on. If it’s not operating correctly, contact us a call at 334-524-2458.

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

Three 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 changed every several months, depending on the kind you use.

Can’t remember when you last replaced yours? 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 inspect your air conditioner’s drain line—it’s a pliable plastic tube. If it’s dirty, you can clean it by pouring watered-down bleach through the tube to sanitize the line. Or you can get a new tube.

Scrub 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 Farnell Mechanical, Inc. can make your equipment more efficient and help it last longer. We also offer handy service agreements, so you won’t forget to plan your annual maintenance!