Tips for Cleaning Your AC System

September 20, 2019

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

If you haven’t taken care of it lately, it could be full of dirt and debris from your yard. This collection can decrease your unit’s efficiency and cause it to stop working. Or make it wear out more quickly.

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

Regular AC maintenance also helps our technicians discover and take care of minor issues before they develop into expensive problems.

Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner from Failing

Some of the work we complete involves:

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

There’s still time to have maintenance done this fall—and we can get your furnace ready for heating season too.

Schedule maintenance now


There’s also some upkeep you can do on your own between professional tune-ups. You just 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

Choose a warm day to clean your air conditioner. At least 60 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) is best. That way, you can check the unit once you’ve cleaned it.

You’ll only need a couple of 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

5 Steps to Clean the Outside Unit

1. Turn Off the Power

Stop the power 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 use the vacuum to cautiously clean the metallic fins. These pieces are also known as condenser coils and move heat away from your equipment.

You need to be cautious with these fine coils. Bent or crushed fins can affect efficiency.

3. Fix Bent Fins

Use a butter knife to straighten bent fins. You can also use a fin comb from an appliance parts store. A pro from Smyth Air Conditioning Inc should fix large amounts of damage.

4. Clean the Inside

After removing the fan, pull out leaves and other yard waste. Then wipe the inside of the unit with a wet sponge.

The only coil cleaner you need is water. Use slight pressure from a hose nozzle to clean the fins, directing water from the inside out. Put the fan back in once you’re done.

5. Test Your Air Conditioner

It’s safe to restore power and turn your air conditioner back on. If it’s not running like it should, contact us a call at 561-533-6066 .

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 power to your furnace at the breaker box.

2. Check Your Filter

Furnace filters should be changed every several months, depending on the type you use.

Unsure when you last checked yours? Remove it and tilt it toward 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 flexible plastic tube. If it’s scummy, you can sanitize it by flowing diluted bleach through the tube to clean 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 Smyth Air Conditioning Inc can make your system more efficient and help it last longer. We also have handy service agreements, so you won’t forget to plan your annual maintenance!