tools for an air conditioner service

Tips for Cleaning Your AC System

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

If you haven’t washed it recently, it could be clogged with dirt and yard refuse. This buildup can reduce your unit’s efficiency and cause it to malfunction. Or wear it down more quickly.

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

Regular AC maintenance also helps our technicians locate and address slight issues before they develop into high-priced problems.

Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner from Failing

Some of the work we perform consists of:

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

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

Schedule maintenance now


There’s also some work you can do on your own between professional tune-ups. You just need about an hour to get the grime off your outdoor condenser unit, as well as several 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 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 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

Remove debris from the equipment. This includes branches, bushes, weeds and grass.

Then turn on the vacuum to cautiously clean the metallic fins. These pieces are also referred to as condenser coils and transfer heat away from your unit.

You need to be careful with these fragile coils. Bent or crushed fins can affect efficiency.

3. Fix Bent Fins

Use a butter knife to straighten misshapen fins. You can also buy a fin comb from an appliance parts retailer. A pro from KDM Service Corporation should fix severe damage.

4. Clean the Inside

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

The only coil cleaner you need is water. Use gentle pressure from a hose nozzle to rinse the fins, spraying water from the inside out. Reinstall 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, give us a call at 205-208-8090.

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 need to be changed every few months, depending on the type you use.

Can’t remember when you last checked yours? Remove it and angle it toward the light. If you can’t see light through it, get 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 pliable plastic tube. If it’s dirty, you can sanitize it by flowing 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 KDM Service Corporation can make your system more efficient and help it last longer. We also have convenient service agreements, so you won’t forget to book your routine tune-up!

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