tools for an air conditioner service

Tips for Cleaning Your AC System

With summer ending in Erie, now is a good time to get a kick start on air conditioner maintenance.

If you haven’t taken care of it lately, it could be full of mud and yard refuse. This buildup can reduce your unit’s efficiency and cause it to malfunction. Or require replacement faster.

We recommend having your air conditioning system professionally maintained every year. Why? A clean unit can be more energy efficient, which could save you money on energy bills.

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

Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner from Failing

Some of the work we perform consists of:

  • Taking a look at the blower, motor, drain line and coils
  • Watching pressure and temperature
  • Testing lines, refrigerant levels and connections

There’s still time to have a tune-up done this fall—and we can get your furnace ready for heating season too.

Schedule maintenance now


There’s also some work you can do on your own between professional tune-ups. You just need about an hour to wash 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 scrub your air conditioner. At least 60 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) is best. That way, you can run the unit once you’ve cleaned it.

You’ll only need a handful 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

5 Steps to Clean the Outside Unit

1. Turn Off the Power

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

2. Clean the Outside

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

Then use the vacuum to gently clean the metallic fins. These components are also called as condenser coils and move heat away from your unit.

You need to be considerate of these fine coils. Misshapen or crinkled fins can influence efficiency.

3. Fix Bent Fins

Use a butter knife to straighten warped fins. You can also get a fin comb from an appliance parts website. A pro from Patterson & Stirling Inc should handle severe damage.

4. Clean the Inside

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

The only coil cleaner you should use is water. Use gentle pressure from a hose nozzle to clean the fins, showering 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 correctly, reach out to us a call at 814-308-0416.

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

3 Steps to Clean the Indoor Unit

1. Turn Off the Power

Stop the juice to your furnace at the breaker box.

2. Check Your Filter

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

Can’t remember when you last put in a new one? Remove it and hold it up to 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 inspect your air conditioner’s drain line—it’s a supple plastic tube. If it’s moldy, you can sanitize it by flowing water-down bleach through the tube to clean the line. Or you can get a new tube.

Scrub 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 Patterson & Stirling Inc can make your equipment more efficient and help it last longer. We also have handy service agreements, so you won’t forget to plan your routine tune-up!

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