tools for an air conditioner service

Tips for Cleaning Your AC System

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

If you haven’t cleaned it recently, it could be clogged with dirt and yard refuse. This buildup can decrease your unit’s efficiency and cause it to break down. Or wear it down more quickly.

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

Consistent AC maintenance also helps our technicians discover and handle slight issues before they turn into costly problems.

Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner from Failing

Some of the work we do includes:

  • Viewing the blower, motor, drain line and coils
  • Watching pressure and temperature
  • Testing lines, refrigerant levels 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 by yourself between professional tune-ups. You just need about an hour to wash your outdoor condenser unit, as well as a few 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 mild day to scrub your air conditioner. At least 60 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) is ideal. That way, you can test 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

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

2. Clean the Outside

Empty debris from the unit. This includes branches, bushes, weeds and grass.

Then run the vacuum to slowly clean the metallic fins. These parts are also known as condenser coils and divert heat away from your system.

You need to be careful with these fragile coils. Warped or crinkled fins can impact efficiency.

3. Fix Bent Fins

Use a butter knife to rearrange bent fins. You can also get a fin comb from an appliance parts retailer. A pro from Bishop Heating & Air Conditioning should fix extensive damage.

4. Clean the Inside

After removing the fan, pull out leaves and other yard rubbish. Then mop the inside of the system with a wet sponge.

The only coil cleaner you should use is water. Use gentle pressure from a hose nozzle to rinse the fins, directing 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 working like it should, give us a call at 760-784-9034.

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

3 Steps to Clean the Indoor Unit

1. Turn Off the Power

Cut the electricity to your furnace at the breaker box.

2. Check Your Filter

Furnace filters need to be replaced every few months, depending on the model you use.

Unsure when you last replaced yours? Pull it out and tilt 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 take a look at your air conditioner’s drain line—it’s a flexible plastic tube. If it’s scummy, you can sanitize it by flowing diluted bleach through the tube to clean the line. Or you can buy a new tube.

Wash the drain port using a small, round paintbrush. Reconnect 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 Bishop Heating & Air Conditioning can make your equipment more efficient and help it last longer. We also offer convenient service agreements, so you won’t forget to plan your routine service!

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