tools for an air conditioner service

Tips for Cleaning Your AC System

With summer ending in Front Royal, now is a great time to get ahead on air conditioner maintenance.

If you haven’t washed it this year, it could be blocked with dust and yard waste. This accumulation can reduce your unit’s efficiency and cause it to stop working. Or make it wear out faster.

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

Consistent AC maintenance also helps our technicians spot and handle minor issues before they become costly problems.

Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner from Failing

Some of the work we complete involves:

  • Taking a look at the blower, motor, drain line and coils
  • Checking pressure and temperature
  • Examining lines, refrigerant levels and connections

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

Schedule maintenance now


There’s also some upkeep you can do on your own between professional tune-ups. It only takes 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

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

You’ll only need a handful of things:

  • 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 power to your air conditioner at the breaker box.

2. Clean the Outside

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

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

You need to be considerate of these delicate coils. Misshapen or crushed fins can influence efficiency.

3. Fix Bent Fins

Use a butter knife to adjust bent fins. You can also get a fin comb from an appliance parts store. A pro from Dave's Diversified Services should handle severe damage.

4. Clean the Inside

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

The only coil cleaner you need is water. Use gentle pressure from a hose nozzle to clean the fins, spraying water from the inside out. Replace the fan once you’re completed.

5. Test Your Air Conditioner

It’s safe to restore power and turn your air conditioner back on. If it’s not running like it should, give us a call at 540-369-3971.

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 exchanged every couple of months, depending on the type you use.

Unsure when you last put in a new one? Remove it and tilt it toward the light. If you can’t see light through it, get a new one.

3. Clean the Inside

Remove the blower door and vacuum up dust.

Then examine your air conditioner’s drain line—it’s a flexible plastic tube. If it’s scummy, you can freshen it by draining thinned bleach through the tube to flush the line. Or you can get a new tube.

Scrub the drain port using a small, round paintbrush. Hook up the drain tube and turn 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 Dave's Diversified Services 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 annual service!

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