tools for an air conditioner service

Tips for Cleaning Your AC System

With summer coming to an end in Columbus, now is an ideal time to get a head start on air conditioner maintenance.

If you haven’t cleaned it this year, it could be blocked with mud and yard refuse. This collection can limit your unit’s efficiency and cause it to break down. Or make it wear out more quickly.

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

Consistent AC maintenance also helps our technicians spot and address slight issues before they develop into expensive problems.

Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner from Failing

Some of the work we perform consists of:

  • Inspecting the blower, motor, drain line and coils
  • Watching pressure and temperature
  • Examining lines, refrigerant amounts and connections

It’s not too late to have a tune-up done this fall—and we can get your furnace prepared for heating season too.

Schedule maintenance now


There’s also some upkeep 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

Pick a warm day to wash your air conditioner. At least 60 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) is great. That way, you can test the unit once you’ve cleaned it.

You’ll only need a few 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 power to your air conditioner at the breaker box.

2. Clean the Outside

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

Then turn on the vacuum to cautiously clean the metallic fins. These components are also called as condenser coils and move heat away from your equipment.

You need to be careful with these fragile coils. Warped or crushed fins can impact efficiency.

3. Fix Bent Fins

Use a butter knife to adjust warped fins. You can also buy a fin comb from an appliance parts retailer. A pro from Wolfe & Sons Heating and Cooling should take care of large amounts of damage.

4. Clean the Inside

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

The only coil cleaner you should use is water. Use slight pressure from a hose nozzle to clean the fins, directing water from the inside out. Put the fan back in once you’re finished.

5. Test Your Air Conditioner

It’s safe to restore power and turn your air conditioner back on. If it’s not running properly, give us a call at 614-451-0846.

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

3 Steps to Clean the Indoor Unit

1. Turn Off the Power

Cut the electricity to your furnace at the breaker box.

2. Check Your Filter

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

Unsure when you last checked yours? Take it out and tilt it toward 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 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 sanitize the line. Or you can replace the tube.

Wash the drain port using a small, round paintbrush. Hook up 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 Wolfe & Sons Heating and Cooling can make your unit more efficient and help it last longer. We also have practical service agreements, so you won’t forget to book your regular tune-up!

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