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

If you haven’t cleaned it recently, it could be blocked with mud and yard waste. This buildup can limit your unit’s efficiency and cause it to break down. Or wear it down sooner.

We advise having your air conditioning system professionally serviced annually. Why? Clean equipment can be more energy efficient, which could save you money on utility expenses.

Consistent AC maintenance also helps our technicians locate and address minor issues before they turn into expensive problems.

Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner from Failing

Some of the work we do includes:

  • Viewing the blower, motor, drain line and coils
  • Watching pressure and temperature
  • Testing lines, refrigerant totals and connections

There’s still time to have service done this fall—and we can get your furnace prepped for heating season too.

There’s also some maintenance 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 couple of 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

Select a warm day to wash your air conditioner. At least 60 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) is best. That way, you can run your system once you’ve cleaned it.

You’ll only need a couple 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

Five 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

Empty debris from the unit. This includes branches, bushes, weeds and grass.

Then turn on the vacuum to slowly clean the metallic fins. These pieces are also known as condenser coils and divert heat away from your system.

You need to be cautious with these fine coils. Bent or crinkled fins can influence efficiency.

3. Fix Bent Fins

Use a butter knife to adjust bent fins. You can also get a fin comb from an appliance part website. A pro from Allstar Heating & Air Conditioning should fix severe damage.

4. Clean the Inside

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

The only coil cleaner you need is water. Use gentle pressure from a hose nozzle to wash the fins, directing water from the inside out. Replace the fan once you’re completed.

5. Test Your Air Conditioner

It’s safe to restore power and turn your air conditioner back on. If it’s not working correctly, reach out to us a call at 805-242-9638.

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

Three 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 must be replaced every couple of months, depending on the model you use.

Unsure when you last put in a new one? Remove it and hold it up to the light. If light isn’t visible, buy 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 supple plastic tube. If it’s dirty, you can freshen it by pouring diluted bleach through the tube to sanitize the line. Or you can buy a new tube.

Wash the drain port using a small, round paintbrush. Connect the drain tube and turn 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 Allstar Heating & Air Conditioning can make your system more efficient and help it last longer. We also provide practical service agreements, so you won’t forget to plan your annual service!