tools for an air conditioner service

Tips for Cleaning Your AC System

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

If you haven’t washed it recently, it could be blocked with dirt and yard waste. This accumulation can reduce your unit’s efficiency and cause it to break down. Or require replacement more quickly.

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

Routine AC maintenance also helps our technicians spot and address slight issues before they develop into costly problems.

Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner from Failing

Some of the work we do includes:

  • Taking a look at the blower, motor, drain line and coils
  • Confirming pressure and temperature
  • Reviewing lines, refrigerant totals and connections

There’s still time to have service done this fall—and we can get your furnace prepared for heating season too.

Schedule maintenance now


There’s also some maintenance you can do alone between professional tune-ups. You only need about an hour to clean your outdoor condenser unit, as well as several parts 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 warm day to wash your air conditioner. At least 60 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) is best. That way, you can test 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

Stop the juice to your air conditioner at the breaker box.

2. Clean the Outside

Take out debris from the equipment. 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 divert heat away from your equipment.

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

3. Fix Bent Fins

Use a butter knife to rearrange warped fins. You can also get a fin comb from an appliance parts website. A pro from Anderson Heating & A/C should fix extensive damage.

4. Clean the Inside

After extracting the fan, fish out leaves and other yard rubbish. Then clean the inside of the unit with a wet sponge.

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

5. Test Your Air Conditioner

You can now restore power and turn your air conditioner back on. If it’s not running like it should, reach out to us a call at 775-230-7628.

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

Not sure when you last put in a new one? Pull it out 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 supple plastic tube. If it’s dirty, you can freshen it by flowing water-down bleach through the tube to clean the line. Or you can buy a new tube.

Scrub 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 Anderson Heating & A/C can make your equipment more efficient and help it last longer. We also provide practical service agreements, so you won’t forget to schedule your routine maintenance!

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