tools for an air conditioner service

Tips for Cleaning Your AC System

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

If you haven’t taken care of it recently, it could be clogged with dust and yard waste. This buildup can limit your unit’s efficiency and cause it to stop working. Or require replacement faster.

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

Regular 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 perform includes:

  • Inspecting the blower, motor, drain line and coils
  • Confirming 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 maintenance you can do alone between professional tune-ups. It only takes about an hour to wash your outdoor condenser unit, as well as several 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 clean your air conditioner. At least 60 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) is best. That way, you can check your equipment once you’ve cleaned it.

You’ll only need a handful 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

Cut the electricity to your air conditioner at the breaker box.

2. Clean the Outside

Empty waste from the unit. This includes branches, bushes, weeds and grass.

Then turn on the vacuum to slowly clean the metallic fins. These parts are also known as condenser coils and transfer heat away from your equipment.

You need to be cautious with these fine coils. Warped or crumpled fins can impact efficiency.

3. Fix Bent Fins

Use a butter knife to straighten warped fins. You can also get a fin comb from an appliance parts retailer. A pro from Mighty Ducts should take care of severe damage.

4. Clean the Inside

After taking out the fan, fish out leaves and other yard waste. Then mop 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 wash the fins, showering water from the inside out. Put the fan back in once you’re completed.

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, contact us a call at 714-464-3376.

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 must be exchanged every couple of months, depending on the model you use.

Not sure when you last checked yours? Pull it out and angle 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 inspect your air conditioner’s drain line—it’s a pliable plastic tube. If it’s scummy, you can freshen it by draining 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 Mighty Ducts can make your equipment more efficient and help it last longer. We also offer handy service agreements, so you won’t forget to book your annual service!

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