tools for an air conditioner service

Tips for Cleaning Your AC System

With summer winding down in Buellton, now is an ideal time to get ahead on air conditioner maintenance.

If you haven’t washed it this year, it could be clogged with mud and yard waste. This collection can reduce your unit’s efficiency and cause it to stop working. Or make it wear out sooner.

We advise having your air conditioning system professionally tuned-up once a year. Why? Clean equipment can be more energy efficient, which could save you money on utility bills.

Consistent AC maintenance also helps our technicians locate and address slight issues before they turn into high-priced 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
  • Reviewing lines, refrigerant levels and connections

There’s still time to have maintenance 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 on your own between professional tune-ups. You just need about an hour to get the grime off 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 ideal. That way, you can test the unit once you’ve cleaned it.

You’ll only need a couple 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

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

2. Clean the Outside

Empty rubbish from the equipment. This includes branches, bushes, weeds and grass.

Then turn on the vacuum to cautiously clean the metallic fins. These pieces are also called as condenser coils and transfer heat away from your unit.

You need to be considerate of these fine coils. Bent or crushed 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 retailer. A pro from Allstar Heating & Air Conditioning should fix severe damage.

4. Clean the Inside

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

The only coil cleaner you have to have is water. Use slight pressure from a hose nozzle to rinse the fins, directing water from the inside out. Reinstall 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 operating properly, give us a call at 805-242-9638.

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 should be exchanged every few months, depending on the kind you use.

Can’t remember when you last replaced yours? Take it out and angle it toward the light. If there’s no light visible, get 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 pliable plastic tube. If it’s scummy, you can sanitize it by pouring thinned bleach through the tube to clean the line. Or you can get a new tube.

Scrub 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 Allstar Heating & Air Conditioning can make your unit more efficient and help it last longer. We also offer handy service agreements, so you won’t forget to plan your regular maintenance!

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