With summer ending in Ames, now is a great time to get a kick start on air conditioner maintenance.

If you haven’t cleaned it recently, it could be blocked with dust and yard refuse. This accumulation can limit your unit’s efficiency and cause it to malfunction. Or require replacement faster.

We recommend having your air conditioning system professionally maintained once a year. Why? A clean system can be more energy efficient, which could save you money on electric costs.

Routine AC maintenance also helps our technicians locate and address minor issues before they develop into expensive 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
  • Checking pressure and temperature
  • Testing lines, refrigerant amounts and connections

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

There’s also some maintenance you can do on your own between professional tune-ups. You only need about an hour to wash your outdoor condenser unit, as well as a few 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

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

Five Steps to Clean the Outside Unit

1. Turn Off the Power

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

2. Clean the Outside

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

Then use the vacuum to slowly clean the metallic fins. These pieces are also known as condenser coils and move heat away from your system.

You need to be considerate of these fragile coils. Misshapen or crinkled fins can influence efficiency.

3. Fix Bent Fins

Use a butter knife to straighten misshapen fins. You can also use a fin comb from an appliance part store. A pro from Haselhoff Air Solutions should take care of severe damage.

4. Clean the Inside

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

The only coil cleaner you need is water. Use light pressure from a hose nozzle to rinse the fins, spraying water from the inside out. Reinstall the fan once you’re done.

5. Test Your Air Conditioner

You can now restore power and turn your air conditioner back on. If it’s not working like it should, give us a call at 515-450-8739.

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

After, Three 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 couple of months, depending on the model you use.

Not sure when you last checked yours? Remove it and hold it up to 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 flexible plastic tube. If it’s dirty, you can freshen it by flowing diluted bleach through the tube to sanitize the line. Or you can get a new tube.

Clean the drain port using a small, round paintbrush. Hook up 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 Haselhoff Air Solutions can make your equipment more efficient and help it last longer. We also have handy service agreements, so you won’t forget to book your regular maintenance!