tools for an air conditioner service

Tips for Cleaning Your AC System

With summer coming to an end in Lincoln, now is a great time to get a kick start on air conditioner maintenance.

If you haven’t taken care of it recently, it could be full of mud and yard waste. This buildup can decrease your unit’s efficiency and cause it to break down. Or require replacement sooner.

We advise having your air conditioning system professionally maintained once a year. Why? Clean equipment can be more energy efficient, which could save you money on utility bills.

Routine AC maintenance also helps our technicians spot and take care of small issues before they develop into costly problems.

Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner from Failing

Some of the work we complete involves:

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

There’s still time to have a tune-up done this fall—and we can get your furnace prepped for heating season too.

Schedule maintenance now


There’s also some upkeep you can do alone between professional tune-ups. You just 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

Choose a temperate 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 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

Switch off the power 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 run the vacuum to slowly clean the metallic fins. These components are also referred to as condenser coils and transfer heat away from your unit.

You need to be considerate of these fine coils. Warped or crumpled fins can impact efficiency.

3. Fix Bent Fins

Use a butter knife to straighten warped fins. You can also get a fin comb from an appliance parts website. A pro from AW Heating & Air Conditioning should fix extensive 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 light pressure from a hose nozzle to wash 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 running like it should, contact us a call at 402-318-5351.

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 power to your furnace at the breaker box.

2. Check Your Filter

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

Not sure when you last checked yours? Take it out and tilt 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 take a look at your air conditioner’s drain line—it’s a flexible plastic tube. If it’s scummy, you can freshen it by draining diluted bleach through the tube to sanitize the line. Or you can replace the tube.

Clean the drain port using a small, round paintbrush. Connect the drain tube and restore power.

Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner Running Well Through Fall

Never Forget a Tune-Up Again

Annual air conditioner maintenance from AW Heating & Air Conditioning can make your unit more efficient and help it last longer. We also have convenient service agreements, so you won’t forget to schedule your regular maintenance!

Back To Blog