tools for an air conditioner service

Tips for Cleaning Your AC System

With summer winding down in Carlsbad, now is an ideal time to get a head start on air conditioner maintenance.

If you haven’t taken care of it recently, it could be clogged with dirt and debris from your yard. This buildup can limit your unit’s efficiency and cause it to break down. Or wear it down sooner.

We recommend having your air conditioning system professionally maintained annually. Why? Clean equipment can be more energy efficient, which could save you money on electric costs.

Routine AC maintenance also helps our technicians discover and handle minor issues before they develop into expensive problems.

Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner from Failing

Some of the work we complete includes:

  • Viewing the blower, motor, drain line and coils
  • Checking pressure and temperature
  • Reviewing lines, refrigerant amounts and connections

You can still have maintenance done this fall—and we can get your furnace ready for heating season too.

Schedule maintenance now


There’s also some upkeep you can do on your own 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

Select a mild day to wash your air conditioner. At least 60 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) is great. That way, you can run your system once you’ve cleaned it.

You’ll only need a couple 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

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

2. Clean the Outside

Take out waste from the system. This includes branches, bushes, weeds and grass.

Then use the vacuum to cautiously clean the metallic fins. These parts are also referred to as condenser coils and transfer heat away from your equipment.

You need to be cautious with these fine coils. Bent or crumpled fins can affect efficiency.

3. Fix Bent Fins

Use a butter knife to adjust bent fins. You can also buy a fin comb from an appliance parts retailer. A pro from Banister's Heating & Air Conditioning Services should fix severe damage.

4. Clean the Inside

After removing the fan, dig out leaves and other yard waste. Then wipe the inside of the unit with a wet rag.

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

5. Test Your Air Conditioner

You can now restore power and turn your air conditioner back on. If it’s not operating correctly, contact us a call at 575-446-3948.

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

3 Steps to Clean the Indoor Unit

1. Turn Off the Power

Cut the electricity to your furnace at the breaker box.

2. Check Your Filter

Furnace filters need to be replaced every several months, depending on the kind you use.

Unsure when you last put in a new one? Remove it and angle 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 examine your air conditioner’s drain line—it’s a supple plastic tube. If it’s moldy, you can freshen it by draining water-down bleach through the tube to flush the line. Or you can replace the tube.

Clean the drain port using a small, round paintbrush. Hook up the drain tube and restore power.

Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner Running Well Through Fall

Never Forget a Tune-Up Again

Annual air conditioner maintenance from Banister's Heating & Air Conditioning Services can make your equipment more efficient and help it last longer. We also provide convenient service agreements, so you won’t forget to schedule your annual tune-up!

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