tools for an air conditioner service

Tips for Cleaning Your AC System

With summer winding down in Kearney, now is a great time to get a head start on air conditioner maintenance.

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

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

Routine AC maintenance also helps our technicians discover and take care of slight issues before they become expensive problems.

Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner from Failing

Some of the work we do involves:

  • Taking a look at the blower, motor, drain line and coils
  • Confirming pressure and temperature
  • Examining lines, refrigerant totals and connections

There’s still time 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 maintenance you can do by yourself between professional tune-ups. It only takes about an hour to clean your outdoor condenser unit, as well as a couple of 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

Choose a mild day to scrub your air conditioner. At least 60 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) is ideal. That way, you can test your equipment once you’ve cleaned it.

You’ll only need a couple of things:

  • 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 turn on the vacuum to slowly clean the metallic fins. These pieces are also known as condenser coils and transfer heat away from your equipment.

You need to be cautious with these delicate coils. Warped or crumpled 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 Thurston Heating & Air Conditioning should handle extensive damage.

4. Clean the Inside

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

The only coil cleaner you need is water. Use slight 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

Now it’s time to restore power and turn your air conditioner back on. If it’s not operating correctly, contact us a call at 308-624-3485.

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

Not sure when you last replaced yours? Take it out and angle it toward the light. If there’s no light visible, 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 flexible plastic tube. If it’s moldy, you can sanitize it by pouring thinned bleach through the tube to flush the line. Or you can replace the tube.

Scrub 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 Thurston Heating & Air Conditioning can make your unit more efficient and help it last longer. We also provide practical service agreements, so you won’t forget to book your routine service!

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