tools for an air conditioner service

Tips for Cleaning Your AC System

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

If you haven’t cleaned it lately, 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 electric bills.

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

Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner from Failing

Some of the work we do involves:

  • Viewing the blower, motor, drain line and coils
  • Confirming pressure and temperature
  • Testing lines, refrigerant levels and connections

You can still have service done this fall—and we can get your furnace prepped for heating season too.

Schedule maintenance now


There’s also some work 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 temperate day to scrub your air conditioner. At least 60 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) is ideal. That way, you can test your equipment 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 transfer heat away from your system.

You need to be careful with these fragile coils. Misshapen or crumpled fins can impact efficiency.

3. Fix Bent Fins

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

4. Clean the Inside

After removing the fan, fish 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 gentle pressure from a hose nozzle to rinse the fins, spraying 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 exchanged every few months, depending on the model you use.

Can’t remember when you last replaced yours? Pull 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 examine 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 sanitize the line. Or you can get a new tube.

Scrub the drain port using a small, round paintbrush. Hook up 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 unit 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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