tools for an air conditioner service

Tips for Cleaning Your AC System

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

If you haven’t taken care of it recently, it could be blocked with dirt and yard refuse. This buildup can decrease your unit’s efficiency and cause it to break down. Or require replacement sooner.

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

Consistent AC maintenance also helps our technicians spot and address small issues before they become expensive 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
  • Checking pressure and temperature
  • Testing lines, refrigerant amounts 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 only need about an hour to wash your outdoor condenser unit, as well as a couple of 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

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

You’ll only need a couple of things:

  • 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 electricity 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 use the vacuum to slowly clean the metallic fins. These components are also known as condenser coils and divert heat away from your system.

You need to be cautious with these fine coils. Warped or crinkled fins can impact efficiency.

3. Fix Bent Fins

Use a butter knife to rearrange misshapen fins. You can also buy a fin comb from an appliance parts retailer. A pro from B & G HVAC should take care of severe damage.

4. Clean the Inside

After removing the fan, dig out leaves and other yard waste. Then mop the inside of the equipment with a wet sponge.

The only coil cleaner you should use is water. Use slight pressure from a hose nozzle to wash the fins, spraying water from the inside out. Put the fan back in 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, reach out to us a call at 641-812-2044.

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

3 Steps to Clean the Indoor Unit

1. Turn Off the Power

Cut the power to your furnace at the breaker box.

2. Check Your Filter

Furnace filters must be changed every few months, depending on the type you use.

Can’t remember when you last put in a new one? Take it out and tilt it toward the light. If light isn’t visible, get 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 pliable plastic tube. If it’s scummy, you can freshen it by draining diluted bleach through the tube to flush the line. Or you can get a new tube.

Clean the drain port using a small, round paintbrush. Connect the drain tube and switch 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 B & G HVAC 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 regular maintenance!

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