Tips for Cleaning Your AC System

September 20, 2019

With summer ending in Long Beach, now is a great time to get ahead on air conditioner maintenance.

If you haven’t cleaned it recently, it could be full of mud and debris from your yard. This collection can limit your unit’s efficiency and cause it to malfunction. Or make it wear out sooner.

We suggest having your air conditioning system professionally tuned-up every year. 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 handle minor issues before they turn into high-priced problems.

Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner from Failing

Some of the work we do consists of:

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

There’s still time to have a tune-up done this fall—and we can get your furnace ready 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 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 check the unit once you’ve cleaned it.

You’ll only need a handful 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

Cut the juice 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 called as condenser coils and transfer heat away from your equipment.

You need to be considerate of these delicate coils. Bent or crumpled fins can affect efficiency.

3. Fix Bent Fins

Use a butter knife to rearrange misshapen fins. You can also use a fin comb from an appliance parts website. A pro from YES R&M Inc. should fix large amounts of damage.

4. Clean the Inside

After taking out the fan, dig out leaves and other yard rubbish. Then wipe the inside of the equipment with a wet cloth.

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

5. Test Your Air Conditioner

Now it’s time to restore power and turn your air conditioner back on. If it’s not working correctly, reach out to us a call at 562-286-6624.

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 need to be changed every couple of months, depending on the model you use.

Can’t remember when you last replaced yours? Take it out and angle 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 draining diluted bleach through the tube to flush the line. Or you can buy a new tube.

Scrub the drain port using a small, round paintbrush. Reconnect 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 YES R&M Inc. can make your equipment more efficient and help it last longer. We also provide practical service agreements, so you won’t forget to plan your routine tune-up!