tools for an air conditioner service

Tips for Cleaning Your AC System

With summer ending in Rock Hill, now is a good time to get ahead on air conditioner maintenance.

If you haven’t washed it lately, it could be full of mud and yard refuse. This accumulation can reduce your unit’s efficiency and cause it to break down. Or require replacement faster.

We suggest 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 electric expenses.

Regular AC maintenance also helps our technicians spot and handle small issues before they become expensive problems.

Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner from Failing

Some of the work we do includes:

  • Viewing the blower, motor, drain line and coils
  • Watching pressure and temperature
  • Testing lines, refrigerant levels and connections

There’s still time to have maintenance 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 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 pieces 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 clean your air conditioner. At least 60 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) is great. That way, you can check the unit 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

Stop 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 run the vacuum to gently clean the metallic fins. These parts are also known as condenser coils and move heat away from your unit.

You need to be cautious with 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 US Air Heating and Cooling should handle severe damage.

4. Clean the Inside

After extracting the fan, dig out leaves and other yard waste. Then mop the inside of the equipment with a wet rag.

The only coil cleaner you should use is water. Use gentle pressure from a hose nozzle to rinse the fins, showering water from the inside out. Replace the fan once you’re finished.

5. Test Your Air Conditioner

Now it’s time to restore power and turn your air conditioner back on. If it’s not working correctly, give us a call at 803-220-0761.

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

3 Steps to Clean the Indoor Unit

1. Turn Off the Power

Stop the electricity to your furnace at the breaker box.

2. Check Your Filter

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

Unsure when you last put in a new one? Pull it out and angle it toward the light. If there’s no light visible, 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 moldy, you can freshen it by pouring diluted bleach through the tube to sanitize the line. Or you can replace the tube.

Clean the drain port using a small, round paintbrush. Connect 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 US Air Heating and Cooling 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 maintenance!

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