tools for an air conditioner service

Tips for Cleaning Your AC System

With summer winding down in Paso Robles, now is a great time to get a head start on air conditioner maintenance.

If you haven’t cleaned it recently, it could be full of dust and yard refuse. This accumulation can limit your unit’s efficiency and cause it to stop working. Or wear it down sooner.

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

Routine AC maintenance also helps our technicians discover and take care of minor 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
  • Confirming pressure and temperature
  • Examining lines, refrigerant levels and connections

There’s still time to have a tune-up 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 alone between professional tune-ups. You only need about an hour to get the grime off your outdoor condenser unit, as well as a couple of 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

Choose a mild day to clean your air conditioner. At least 60 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) is ideal. That way, you can run your system once you’ve cleaned it.

You’ll only need a handful of things:

  • 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

Remove rubbish from the unit. This includes branches, bushes, weeds and grass.

Then turn on the vacuum to cautiously clean the metallic fins. These parts are also known as condenser coils and transfer heat away from your unit.

You need to be cautious with these fragile coils. Warped or crushed fins can affect efficiency.

3. Fix Bent Fins

Use a butter knife to adjust bent fins. You can also buy a fin comb from an appliance parts website. A pro from Paso Robles Heating and Air should fix large amounts of damage.

4. Clean the Inside

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

The only coil cleaner you need is water. Use light pressure from a hose nozzle to clean the fins, showering water from the inside out. Replace the fan once you’re done.

5. Test Your Air Conditioner

It’s safe to restore power and turn your air conditioner back on. If it’s not running like it should, contact us a call at 805-203-8667.

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 juice to your furnace at the breaker box.

2. Check Your Filter

Furnace filters need to be exchanged every few months, depending on the kind you use.

Not sure when you last put in a new one? 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 inspect your air conditioner’s drain line—it’s a pliable plastic tube. If it’s moldy, you can sanitize it by pouring thinned bleach through the tube to sanitize the line. Or you can buy a new tube.

Scrub the drain port using a small, round paintbrush. Hook up 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 Paso Robles Heating and Air can make your equipment more efficient and help it last longer. We also provide convenient service agreements, so you won’t forget to schedule your annual maintenance!

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