tools for an air conditioner service

Tips for Cleaning Your AC System

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

If you haven’t washed it recently, it could be clogged with dirt and yard waste. This buildup can reduce your unit’s efficiency and cause it to stop working. 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 costs.

Consistent AC maintenance also helps our technicians spot and address small issues before they become costly 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 service done this fall—and we can get your furnace prepped for heating season too.

Schedule maintenance now


There’s also some maintenance 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 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 run 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

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

2. Clean the Outside

Remove 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 called as condenser coils and divert heat away from your system.

You need to be cautious with these delicate coils. Bent or crinkled 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 take care of large amounts of damage.

4. Clean the Inside

After taking out the fan, fish out leaves and other yard rubbish. 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 electricity to your furnace at the breaker box.

2. Check Your Filter

Furnace filters must be changed every few months, depending on the model you use.

Not sure when you last checked yours? Remove it 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 dirty, you can sanitize it by flowing diluted bleach through the tube to flush the line. Or you can get a new tube.

Clean the drain port using a small, round paintbrush. Reconnect 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 Fleming Heating & Air Conditioning Inc. can make your equipment more efficient and help it last longer. We also offer practical service agreements, so you won’t forget to schedule your annual service!

Back To Blog