Tips for Cleaning Your AC System

September 20, 2019

With summer winding down in Odessa, now is an ideal 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 mud and yard refuse. This buildup can limit your unit’s efficiency and cause it to malfunction. Or wear it down faster.

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

Routine AC maintenance also helps our technicians discover and handle small issues before they develop into expensive problems.

Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner from Failing

Some of the work we do includes:

  • Taking a look at the blower, motor, drain line and coils
  • Watching pressure and temperature
  • Testing lines, refrigerant levels and connections

There’s still time to have service 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 by yourself between professional tune-ups. You just need about an hour to wash your outdoor condenser unit, as well as a few 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

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

You’ll only need a handful of items:

  • 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 power to your air conditioner at the breaker box.

2. Clean the Outside

Remove waste from the equipment. This includes branches, bushes, weeds and grass.

Then run the vacuum to gently clean the metallic fins. These components are also called as condenser coils and transfer heat away from your system.

You need to be careful with these delicate coils. Misshapen or crinkled fins can influence efficiency.

3. Fix Bent Fins

Use a butter knife to straighten misshapen fins. You can also use a fin comb from an appliance parts website. A pro from Redhawk Heating & Air Conditioning should handle extensive damage.

4. Clean the Inside

After taking out the fan, dig out leaves and other yard waste. Then wipe the inside of the system with a wet cloth.

The only coil cleaner you have to have is water. Use slight pressure from a hose nozzle to clean the fins, directing water from the inside out. Put the fan back in 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, reach out to us a call at 432-237-0168.

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

3 Steps to Clean the Indoor Unit

1. Turn Off the Power

Stop the electricity to your furnace at the breaker box.

2. Check Your Filter

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

Not sure when you last replaced yours? Pull it out and angle it toward the light. If there’s no light visible, replace it.

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 flowing thinned bleach through the tube to flush the line. Or you can buy a new tube.

Wash the drain port using a small, round paintbrush. Reconnect 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 Redhawk Heating & Air Conditioning can make your equipment more efficient and help it last longer. We also provide practical service agreements, so you won’t forget to schedule your routine tune-up!