Tips for Cleaning Your AC System

September 20, 2019

With summer coming to an end in Bend, 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 clogged with dust and debris from your yard. This collection can decrease your unit’s efficiency and cause it to malfunction. Or wear it down faster.

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

Consistent AC maintenance also helps our technicians locate and handle minor issues before they become costly 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
  • Watching pressure and temperature
  • Reviewing lines, refrigerant totals and connections

It’s not too late to have maintenance done this fall—and we can get your furnace prepped for heating season too.

Schedule maintenance now


There’s also some maintenance you can do by yourself between professional tune-ups. You just need about an hour to get the grime off your outdoor condenser unit, as well as several 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 mild day to wash 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

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

2. Clean the Outside

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

Then turn on the vacuum to gently clean the metallic fins. These pieces are also called as condenser coils and divert heat away from your unit.

You need to be careful with these delicate coils. Misshapen or crumpled fins can impact efficiency.

3. Fix Bent Fins

Use a butter knife to straighten warped fins. You can also buy a fin comb from an appliance parts store. A pro from Tri County Climate Control LLC should take care of extensive damage.

4. Clean the Inside

After extracting the fan, fish out leaves and other yard rubbish. Then clean the inside of the equipment with a wet rag.

The only coil cleaner you have to have is water. Use gentle pressure from a hose nozzle to clean the fins, directing water from the inside out. Reinstall the fan once you’re finished.

5. Test Your Air Conditioner

Now it’s time to restore power and turn your air conditioner back on. If it’s not operating like it should, reach out to us a call at 541-238-2797.

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

3 Steps to Clean the Indoor Unit

1. Turn Off the Power

Stop the power to your furnace at the breaker box.

2. Check Your Filter

Furnace filters must be exchanged every couple of months, depending on the model you use.

Unsure when you last replaced yours? Pull it out and tilt it toward the light. If there’s no light visible, buy a new one.

3. Clean the Inside

Remove the blower door and vacuum up dust.

Then take a look at your air conditioner’s drain line—it’s a flexible plastic tube. If it’s scummy, you can clean it by pouring thinned bleach through the tube to clean the line. Or you can buy 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 Tri County Climate Control LLC can make your equipment more efficient and help it last longer. We also have practical service agreements, so you won’t forget to schedule your routine service!