tools for an air conditioner service

Tips for Cleaning Your AC System

With summer winding down in Lawrence, now is a great time to get a head start on air conditioner maintenance.

If you haven’t cleaned it this year, it could be blocked with dust and yard waste. This buildup can reduce your unit’s efficiency and cause it to malfunction. Or require replacement faster.

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

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

Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner from Failing

Some of the work we do involves:

  • Inspecting the blower, motor, drain line and coils
  • Checking pressure and temperature
  • Testing lines, refrigerant totals 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 maintenance you can do by yourself between professional tune-ups. It only takes about an hour to clean your outdoor condenser unit, as well as a couple of components 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 wash your air conditioner. At least 60 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) is best. That way, you can check your equipment 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

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

2. Clean the Outside

Take out debris from the system. This includes branches, bushes, weeds and grass.

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

You need to be cautious with these fragile coils. Warped or crinkled fins can affect efficiency.

3. Fix Bent Fins

Use a butter knife to rearrange bent fins. You can also use a fin comb from an appliance parts website. A pro from Scott Temperature should fix extensive damage.

4. Clean the Inside

After removing the fan, fish out leaves and other yard litter. Then clean the inside of the system with a wet rag.

The only coil cleaner you should use is water. Use light pressure from a hose nozzle to rinse 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 operating like it should, reach out to us a call at 785-269-0465.

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 electricity to your furnace at the breaker box.

2. Check Your Filter

Furnace filters should be changed every several months, depending on the kind you use.

Unsure when you last replaced yours? Remove it and hold it up to the light. If you can’t see light through it, replace it.

3. Clean the Inside

Remove the blower door and vacuum up dust.

Then inspect your air conditioner’s drain line—it’s a supple plastic tube. If it’s dirty, you can sanitize it by draining diluted bleach through the tube to flush the line. Or you can get a new tube.

Scrub 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 Scott Temperature can make your system more efficient and help it last longer. We also offer handy service agreements, so you won’t forget to plan your routine maintenance!

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