Tips for Cleaning Your AC System

September 20, 2019

With summer ending in Ballwin and St. Charles, now is a good time to get a head start on air conditioner maintenance.

If you haven’t taken care of it recently, it could be blocked with mud and yard refuse. This collection can limit your unit’s efficiency and cause it to malfunction. Or require replacement faster.

We recommend 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 develop into expensive problems.

Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner from Failing

Some of the work we complete includes:

  • Inspecting the blower, motor, drain line and coils
  • Checking pressure and temperature
  • Examining lines, refrigerant levels and connections

It’s not too late to have service done this fall—and we can get your furnace ready 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 couple of 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

Pick a temperate day to scrub your air conditioner. At least 60 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) is best. That way, you can test your equipment once you’ve cleaned it.

You’ll only need a couple of 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

5 Steps to Clean the Outside Unit

1. Turn Off the Power

Switch off the electricity to your air conditioner at the breaker box.

2. Clean the Outside

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

Then turn on the vacuum to gently clean the metallic fins. These components are also known as condenser coils and divert heat away from your system.

You need to be considerate of these fine coils. Misshapen or crumpled fins can impact efficiency.

3. Fix Bent Fins

Use a butter knife to rearrange warped fins. You can also buy a fin comb from an appliance parts website. A pro from Air Alliance Team should fix severe damage.

4. Clean the Inside

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

The only coil cleaner you have to have is water. Use slight pressure from a hose nozzle to clean the fins, spraying 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 operating correctly, give us a call at 636-206-4250.

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

3 Steps to Clean the Indoor Unit

1. Turn Off the Power

Stop the juice to your furnace at the breaker box.

2. Check Your Filter

Furnace filters should be replaced every several months, depending on the model you use.

Unsure when you last replaced yours? Pull it out and hold it up to the light. If you can’t see light through it, 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 supple plastic tube. If it’s moldy, you can freshen it by flowing diluted bleach through the tube to flush the line. Or you can buy a new tube.

Wash the drain port using a small, round paintbrush. Connect 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 Air Alliance Team can make your unit more efficient and help it last longer. We also offer handy service agreements, so you won’t forget to book your annual service!