tools for an air conditioner service

Tips for Cleaning Your AC System in Wheeling

With summer ending in Wheeling, now is a good time to get a kick start on air conditioner maintenance.

If you haven’t taken care of it this year, it could be clogged with dirt and yard refuse. This collection can reduce your unit’s efficiency and cause it to malfunction. Or wear it down more quickly.

We recommend having your air conditioning system professionally serviced every year. Why? A clean unit can be more energy efficient, which could save you money on electric expenses.

Consistent AC maintenance also helps our technicians locate and address minor issues before they become high-priced problems.

Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner from Failing

Some of the work we do consists of:

  • Inspecting the blower, motor, drain line and coils
  • Confirming pressure and temperature
  • Examining lines, refrigerant totals and connections

You can still have maintenance 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 on your own between professional tune-ups. You just need about an hour to wash 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

Select a temperate day to wash your air conditioner. At least 60 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) is best. That way, you can run 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

Cut the electricity to your air conditioner at the breaker box.

2. Clean the Outside

Empty waste from the system. This includes branches, bushes, weeds and grass.

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

You need to be careful with these fragile coils. Warped or crumpled fins can influence efficiency.

3. Fix Bent Fins

Use a butter knife to rearrange bent fins. You can also use a fin comb from an appliance parts store. A pro from Local HVAC Repair & Service should take care of large amounts of damage.

4. Clean the Inside

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

The only coil cleaner you have to have is water. Use slight pressure from a hose nozzle to wash the fins, spraying water from the inside out. Put the fan back in once you’re finished.

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 224-300-4806.

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

3 Steps to Clean the Indoor Unit

1. Turn Off the Power

Turn off the electricity 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.

Can’t remember when you last put in a new one? Take it out and angle it toward the light. If there’s no light 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 scummy, you can clean it by flowing thinned bleach through the tube to clean the line. Or you can buy a new tube.

Clean the drain port using a small, round paintbrush. Connect 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 Local HVAC Repair & Service can make your unit more efficient and help it last longer. We also offer convenient service agreements, so you won’t forget to schedule your routine tune-up!

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