tools for an air conditioner service

Tips for Cleaning Your AC System

With summer winding down in Oxford, now is a good time to get a kick start on air conditioner maintenance.

If you haven’t cleaned it recently, it could be full of dirt and yard waste. This collection can decrease your unit’s efficiency and cause it to malfunction. Or wear it down more quickly.

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

Consistent AC maintenance also helps our technicians locate and take care of slight issues before they become high-priced problems.

Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner from Failing

Some of the work we complete includes:

  • Taking a look at the blower, motor, drain line and coils
  • Confirming 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 prepared for heating season too.

Schedule maintenance now


There’s also some work you can do on your own between professional tune-ups. It only takes about an hour to wash your outdoor condenser unit, as well as several 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

Pick a temperate day to scrub your air conditioner. At least 60 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) is best. That way, you can check 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

Cut the juice to your air conditioner at the breaker box.

2. Clean the Outside

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

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

You need to be cautious with these fragile coils. Bent or crushed fins can impact efficiency.

3. Fix Bent Fins

Use a butter knife to straighten misshapen fins. You can also buy a fin comb from an appliance parts retailer. A pro from Franklin's Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. should handle large amounts of damage.

4. Clean the Inside

After taking out the fan, dig out leaves and other yard waste. Then wipe the inside of the unit with a wet cloth.

The only coil cleaner you have to have is water. Use slight pressure from a hose nozzle to clean the fins, spraying water from the inside out. Replace the fan once you’re finished.

5. Test Your Air Conditioner

You can now restore power and turn your air conditioner back on. If it’s not running like it should, reach out to us a call at 662-281-1231.

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

3 Steps to Clean the Indoor Unit

1. Turn Off the Power

Cut the juice to your furnace at the breaker box.

2. Check Your Filter

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

Not sure when you last put in a new one? Pull it out 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 take a look at your air conditioner’s drain line—it’s a flexible plastic tube. If it’s scummy, you can clean it by flowing thinned bleach through the tube to clean 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 Franklin's Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. can make your unit more efficient and help it last longer. We also have convenient service agreements, so you won’t forget to plan your annual maintenance!

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