tools for an air conditioner service

Tips for Cleaning Your AC System

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

If you haven’t cleaned it recently, it could be clogged with dust and yard refuse. This accumulation can reduce your unit’s efficiency and cause it to stop working. Or make it wear out more quickly.

We suggest having your air conditioning system professionally serviced every year. Why? Clean equipment can be more energy efficient, which could save you money on utility bills.

Routine AC maintenance also helps our technicians locate and address slight issues before they become costly problems.

Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner from Failing

Some of the work we perform involves:

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

You can still have a tune-up done this fall—and we can get your furnace prepped for heating season too.

Schedule maintenance now


There’s also some work you can do by yourself between professional tune-ups. It only takes about an hour to wash your outdoor condenser unit, as well as a few 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 temperate day to clean your air conditioner. At least 60 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) is ideal. That way, you can test your system once you’ve cleaned it.

You’ll only need a handful 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 juice to your air conditioner at the breaker box.

2. Clean the Outside

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

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

You need to be careful with these delicate coils. Misshapen or crinkled fins can influence efficiency.

3. Fix Bent Fins

Use a butter knife to rearrange misshapen fins. You can also use a fin comb from an appliance parts store. A pro from Climate Control Systems should fix large amounts of damage.

4. Clean the Inside

After removing the fan, dig out leaves and other yard rubbish. Then clean the inside of the unit with a wet cloth.

The only coil cleaner you should use is water. Use light pressure from a hose nozzle to rinse the fins, showering water from the inside out. Put the fan back in once you’re done.

5. Test Your Air Conditioner

You can now restore power and turn your air conditioner back on. If it’s not operating properly, reach out to us a call at 828-283-0369.

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

3 Steps to Clean the Indoor Unit

1. Turn Off the Power

Turn off the electricity to your furnace at the breaker box.

2. Check Your Filter

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

Can’t remember when you last replaced yours? Remove it and tilt it toward the light. If light isn’t visible, get a new one.

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 dirty, you can clean it by flowing water-down bleach through the tube to flush the line. Or you can get a new tube.

Clean the drain port using a small, round paintbrush. Hook up the drain tube and switch 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 Climate Control Systems can make your equipment more efficient and help it last longer. We also have convenient service agreements, so you won’t forget to book your routine maintenance!

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