tools for an air conditioner service

Tips for Cleaning Your AC System

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

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

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

Routine AC maintenance also helps our technicians locate and address small issues before they develop into costly problems.

Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner from Failing

Some of the work we perform consists of:

  • Taking a look at the blower, motor, drain line and coils
  • Watching pressure and temperature
  • Testing lines, refrigerant amounts and connections

There’s still time to have service done this fall—and we can get your furnace prepped 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 get the grime off your outdoor condenser unit, as well as a couple of pieces 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 ideal. That way, you can test your equipment once you’ve cleaned it.

You’ll only need a few 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 juice to your air conditioner at the breaker box.

2. Clean the Outside

Empty debris from the system. 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 transfer heat away from your unit.

You need to be cautious with these fragile coils. Bent or crushed fins can impact efficiency.

3. Fix Bent Fins

Use a butter knife to straighten misshapen fins. You can also get a fin comb from an appliance parts retailer. A pro from KDM Service Corporation should take care of extensive damage.

4. Clean the Inside

After removing 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 should use is water. Use gentle pressure from a hose nozzle to wash the fins, directing water from the inside out. Put the fan back in once you’re completed.

5. Test Your Air Conditioner

You can now 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

Stop the juice 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.

Unsure when you last put in a new one? 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 examine your air conditioner’s drain line—it’s a pliable plastic tube. If it’s dirty, you can sanitize it by draining thinned bleach through the tube to clean the line. Or you can buy a new tube.

Wash the drain port using a small, round paintbrush. Reconnect the drain tube and switch 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 provide convenient service agreements, so you won’t forget to schedule your routine tune-up!

Back To Blog