Tips for Cleaning Your AC System

September 20, 2019

With summer winding down in Fort Lauderdale, now is a good time to get a kick start on air conditioner maintenance.

If you haven’t cleaned it lately, it could be blocked with mud and yard refuse. This accumulation can decrease your unit’s efficiency and cause it to stop working. Or wear it down sooner.

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

Routine AC maintenance also helps our technicians spot and take care of slight issues before they develop into 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
  • Checking pressure and temperature
  • Testing lines, refrigerant levels and connections

There’s still time to have a tune-up done this fall—and we can get your furnace prepared for heating season too.

Schedule maintenance now


There’s also some work you can do alone between professional tune-ups. You just need about an hour to wash your outdoor condenser unit, as well as a few components 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 mild day to scrub your air conditioner. At least 60 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) is best. That way, you can test the unit once you’ve cleaned it.

You’ll only need a few 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 system. This includes branches, bushes, weeds and grass.

Then turn on the vacuum to slowly clean the metallic fins. These pieces are also called as condenser coils and transfer heat away from your unit.

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

3. Fix Bent Fins

Use a butter knife to adjust bent fins. You can also use a fin comb from an appliance parts website. A pro from Solar Air Inc. should take care of large amounts of damage.

4. Clean the Inside

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

The only coil cleaner you should use is water. Use slight pressure from a hose nozzle to rinse the fins, showering water from the inside out. Reinstall the fan 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 properly, reach out to us a call at 954-320-7398.

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

3 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 should be replaced every couple of months, depending on the kind you use.

Unsure when you last replaced yours? Take it out and angle it toward the light. If you can’t see light through it, buy a new one.

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 scummy, you can sanitize it by pouring diluted bleach through the tube to flush the line. Or you can buy a new tube.

Clean 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 Solar Air Inc. can make your system more efficient and help it last longer. We also provide handy service agreements, so you won’t forget to schedule your regular tune-up!