With summer ending in Rio Grande Valley, now is a good time to get a kick start on air conditioner maintenance.

If you haven’t washed it lately, it could be full of dust and yard refuse. This accumulation can limit your unit’s efficiency and cause it to break down. Or make it wear out faster.

We recommend having your air conditioning system professionally tuned-up once a year. Why? Clean equipment can be more energy efficient, which could save you money on energy expenses.

Consistent AC maintenance also helps our technicians spot and address minor issues before they develop into costly 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 totals and connections

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

There’s also some work you can do on your own between professional tune-ups. It only takes about an hour to wash your outdoor condenser unit, as well as a few pieces on your indoor HVAC system.

Related: How Often Should You Expect to Get Air Conditioning Service Done?

Cleaning Out the Outside AC Unit

Choose a warm day to clean 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 tools:

  • 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

Stop the power to your air conditioner at the breaker box.

2. Clean the Outside

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

Then run the vacuum to gently clean the metallic fins. These parts are also called condenser coils and transfer heat away from your unit.

You need to be careful with these fine coils. Misshapen or crinkled fins can impact efficiency.

3. Fix Bent Fins

Use a butter knife to adjust warped fins. You can also use a fin comb from an appliance part store. A pro from Cytech Heating & Cooling L.C. should take care of large amounts of damage.

4. Clean the Inside

After removing the fan, dig out leaves and other yard waste. Then clean the inside of the system with a wet cloth.

The only coil cleaner you need is water. Use light pressure from a hose nozzle to wash the fins, showering water from the inside out. Reinstall the fan 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 properly, give us a call at 956-630-3522.

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

After, Three Steps to Clean the Indoor Unit

1. Turn Off the Power

Stop the power to your furnace at the breaker box.

2. Check Your Filter

Furnace filters must be changed every few months, depending on the type you use.

Unsure when you last checked yours? Take it out and tilt it toward the light. If there’s no light visible, replace it.

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 pliable plastic tube. If it’s dirty, you can sanitize it by flowing watered-down bleach through the tube to flush the line. Or you can replace the tube.

Clean the drain port using a small, round paintbrush. Connect the drain tube and turn the power back on.

Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner Running Well Through Fall

Don’t Forget About Maintenance Again

Annual air conditioner maintenance from Cytech Heating & Cooling L.C. can make your equipment more efficient and help it last longer. We also have handy service agreements, so you won’t forget to plan your regular service!