tools for an air conditioner service

Tips for Cleaning Your AC System

With summer winding down in Lodi, now is a good time to get a head start on air conditioner maintenance.

If you haven’t cleaned it lately, it could be full of dust and yard waste. This collection can limit your unit’s efficiency and cause it to break down. Or require replacement sooner.

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

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

Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner from Failing

Some of the work we perform involves:

  • Inspecting the blower, motor, drain line and coils
  • Watching pressure and temperature
  • Examining lines, refrigerant amounts and connections

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

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

You’ll only need a few 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

Switch off the electricity to your air conditioner at the breaker box.

2. Clean the Outside

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

Then turn on the vacuum to slowly clean the metallic fins. These parts are also called as condenser coils and transfer heat away from your system.

You need to be careful with these fine coils. Warped or crumpled fins can impact efficiency.

3. Fix Bent Fins

Use a butter knife to straighten warped fins. You can also buy a fin comb from an appliance parts retailer. A pro from Tokay Heating and Air Conditioning should handle severe damage.

4. Clean the Inside

After taking out the fan, dig out leaves and other yard rubbish. Then wipe the inside of the system with a wet cloth.

The only coil cleaner you have to have is water. Use light pressure from a hose nozzle to rinse the fins, spraying 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 like it should, give us a call at 209-257-3156.

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 must be exchanged every couple of months, depending on the kind you use.

Unsure when you last checked yours? Pull it out and angle it toward the light. If there’s no light visible, buy 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 supple plastic tube. If it’s dirty, you can sanitize it by pouring water-down bleach through the tube to clean 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 Tokay Heating and Air Conditioning can make your unit more efficient and help it last longer. We also have practical service agreements, so you won’t forget to plan your regular maintenance!

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