tools for an air conditioner service

Tips for Cleaning Your AC System in South Beloit and Belvidere

With summer coming to an end in South Beloit and Belvidere, now is an ideal time to get a head start on air conditioner maintenance.

If you haven’t taken care of it lately, it could be clogged with dirt and yard waste. This buildup can reduce your unit’s efficiency and cause it to malfunction. Or wear it down faster.

We suggest having your air conditioning system professionally serviced every year. Why? Clean equipment can be more energy efficient, which could save you money on energy expenses.

Consistent AC maintenance also helps our technicians spot and take care of slight issues before they become high-priced problems.

Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner from Failing

Some of the work we perform consists of:

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

It’s not too late to have maintenance done this fall—and we can get your furnace prepped for heating season too.

Schedule maintenance now


There’s also some work you can do by yourself between professional tune-ups. You just need about an hour to clean 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 clean your air conditioner. At least 60 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) is best. That way, you can check your system 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

Stop the juice 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 gently clean the metallic fins. These parts are also referred to as condenser coils and transfer heat away from your system.

You need to be careful with these delicate coils. Bent or crumpled fins can affect efficiency.

3. Fix Bent Fins

Use a butter knife to straighten warped fins. You can also buy a fin comb from an appliance parts store. A pro from Fleming Heating & Air Conditioning Inc. should fix large amounts of damage.

4. Clean the Inside

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

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. Replace the fan once you’re done.

5. Test Your Air Conditioner

You can now restore power and turn your air conditioner back on. If it’s not working properly, give us a call at 877-389-2465.

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 changed every few months, depending on the type you use.

Not sure when you last checked yours? Remove it and angle it toward the light. If light isn’t visible, buy 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 sanitize it by flowing 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 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 Fleming Heating & Air Conditioning Inc. 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!

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