Tips for Cleaning Your AC System

September 20, 2019

With summer winding down in the Rio Grande Valley, now is a great time to get a head start on air conditioner maintenance.

If you haven’t taken care of it lately, it could be full of dust and yard refuse. This accumulation can reduce your unit’s efficiency and cause it to stop working. Or require replacement more quickly.

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

Routine AC maintenance also helps our technicians discover and address minor issues before they develop into high-priced problems.

Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner from Failing

Some of the work we perform involves:

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

You can still 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 on your own between professional tune-ups. You just need about an hour to clean your outdoor condenser unit, as well as a few 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

Pick 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 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 juice to your air conditioner at the breaker box.

2. Clean the Outside

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

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

You need to be careful with these delicate coils. Warped or crushed fins can influence efficiency.

3. Fix Bent Fins

Use a butter knife to rearrange misshapen fins. You can also get a fin comb from an appliance parts store. A pro from Cytech Heating & Cooling L.C. should take care of large amounts of damage.

4. Clean the Inside

After taking out the fan, pull out leaves and other yard litter. Then clean the inside of the unit with a wet rag.

The only coil cleaner you should use is water. Use light pressure from a hose nozzle to clean 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 properly, reach out to us a call at 956-381-1162.

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

3 Steps to Clean the Indoor Unit

1. Turn Off the Power

Cut the electricity to your furnace at the breaker box.

2. Check Your Filter

Furnace filters should be exchanged every couple of months, depending on the type you use.

Not sure when you last put in a new one? 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 inspect your air conditioner’s drain line—it’s a pliable plastic tube. If it’s moldy, you can freshen it by pouring diluted bleach through the tube to clean the line. Or you can get a new tube.

Scrub the drain port using a small, round paintbrush. Hook up 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 Cytech Heating & Cooling L.C. can make your unit more efficient and help it last longer. We also provide handy service agreements, so you won’t forget to plan your regular tune-up!