Tips for Cleaning Your AC System

September 20, 2019

With summer winding down in Belton, now is an ideal time to get a head start on air conditioner maintenance.

If you haven’t taken care of it recently, it could be blocked with dust and yard waste. This accumulation can limit your unit’s efficiency and cause it to malfunction. Or require replacement faster.

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

Regular AC maintenance also helps our technicians discover and take care of minor issues before they turn into costly problems.

Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner from Failing

Some of the work we complete involves:

  • Taking a look at the blower, motor, drain line and coils
  • Confirming pressure and temperature
  • Reviewing lines, refrigerant amounts and connections

There’s still time to have maintenance 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 by yourself between professional tune-ups. You just need about an hour to clean 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

Pick a warm day to clean 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 few 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

Switch off the juice to your air conditioner at the breaker box.

2. Clean the Outside

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

Then use the vacuum to slowly clean the metallic fins. These components are also referred to as condenser coils and transfer heat away from your system.

You need to be cautious with these delicate coils. Bent or crumpled fins can impact efficiency.

3. Fix Bent Fins

Use a butter knife to rearrange warped fins. You can also get a fin comb from an appliance parts website. A pro from Bell Air Conditioning Inc. should fix extensive damage.

4. Clean the Inside

After taking out the fan, fish out leaves and other yard waste. Then clean the inside of the unit with a wet sponge.

The only coil cleaner you should use is water. Use slight 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

Now it’s time to restore power and turn your air conditioner back on. If it’s not working properly, contact us a call at 254-307-9572.

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

3 Steps to Clean the Indoor Unit

1. Turn Off the Power

Stop the power to your furnace at the breaker box.

2. Check Your Filter

Furnace filters need to be exchanged every several months, depending on the type you use.

Unsure when you last replaced yours? Take it out and angle 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 inspect your air conditioner’s drain line—it’s a flexible plastic tube. If it’s moldy, you can freshen it by flowing water-down bleach through the tube to sanitize the line. Or you can replace the tube.

Clean the drain port using a small, round paintbrush. Hook up 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 Bell Air Conditioning Inc. can make your system more efficient and help it last longer. We also have handy service agreements, so you won’t forget to plan your routine service!