tools for an air conditioner service

Tips for Cleaning Your AC System

With summer winding down in Excelsior Springs, 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 mud and debris from your yard. This accumulation can decrease your unit’s efficiency and cause it to malfunction. Or wear it down faster.

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

Consistent AC maintenance also helps our technicians discover and address small issues before they turn into expensive 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 amounts and connections

There’s still time to have service 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 by yourself between professional tune-ups. You just need about an hour to wash your outdoor condenser unit, as well as a few 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 ideal. That way, you can test your equipment once you’ve cleaned it.

You’ll only need a few 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 unit. This includes branches, bushes, weeds and grass.

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

You need to be considerate of these fine coils. Misshapen or crushed fins can affect efficiency.

3. Fix Bent Fins

Use a butter knife to straighten bent fins. You can also use a fin comb from an appliance parts retailer. A pro from Colvin's Heating and Cooling should handle extensive damage.

4. Clean the Inside

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

The only coil cleaner you need is water. Use light pressure from a hose nozzle to wash the fins, showering water from the inside out. Replace the fan 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 operating properly, contact us a call at 816-379-3918.

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 juice to your furnace at the breaker box.

2. Check Your Filter

Furnace filters must be replaced every couple of months, depending on the type you use.

Unsure when you last checked yours? Remove it 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 moldy, you can sanitize it by flowing water-down bleach through the tube to clean the line. Or you can replace the tube.

Clean the drain port using a small, round paintbrush. Reconnect 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 Colvin's Heating and Cooling 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 routine maintenance!

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