tools for an air conditioner service

Tips for Cleaning Your AC System

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

If you haven’t washed it recently, it could be full of mud and yard refuse. This collection can reduce your unit’s efficiency and cause it to stop working. Or require replacement sooner.

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

Routine AC maintenance also helps our technicians spot and address minor issues before they turn into costly problems.

Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner from Failing

Some of the work we complete involves:

  • Taking a look at the blower, motor, drain line and coils
  • Checking pressure and temperature
  • Reviewing lines, refrigerant levels and connections

There’s still time to have maintenance 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 alone between professional tune-ups. It only takes 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

Choose a warm day to scrub your air conditioner. At least 60 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) is great. That way, you can check the unit once you’ve cleaned it.

You’ll only need a handful of tools:

  • 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

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

2. Clean the Outside

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

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

You need to be cautious with these fine coils. Warped or crumpled fins can influence efficiency.

3. Fix Bent Fins

Use a butter knife to adjust warped fins. You can also use a fin comb from an appliance parts website. A pro from Gopher Heating and Air Conditioning should take care of extensive damage.

4. Clean the Inside

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

The only coil cleaner you have to have is water. Use slight pressure from a hose nozzle to wash the fins, showering 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 running like it should, reach out to us a call at 952-373-0377.

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

3 Steps to Clean the Indoor Unit

1. Turn Off the Power

Cut the power to your furnace at the breaker box.

2. Check Your Filter

Furnace filters should be changed every couple of months, depending on the model you use.

Not sure when you last put in a new one? Remove it and tilt it toward the light. If light isn’t visible, replace it.

3. Clean the Inside

Remove the blower door and vacuum up dust.

Then inspect your air conditioner’s drain line—it’s a flexible plastic tube. If it’s moldy, you can sanitize it by draining diluted bleach through the tube to flush the line. Or you can replace the tube.

Wash 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 Gopher Heating and Air Conditioning 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 maintenance!

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