tools for an air conditioner service

Tips for Cleaning Your AC System

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

If you haven’t cleaned it recently, it could be blocked with mud and yard refuse. This collection can decrease 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 energy bills.

Routine AC maintenance also helps our technicians discover and take care of 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

It’s not too late 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 maintenance you can do alone between professional tune-ups. It only takes about an hour to wash your outdoor condenser unit, as well as a couple of 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 wash your air conditioner. At least 60 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) is best. That way, you can check your equipment once you’ve cleaned it.

You’ll only need a couple 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 rubbish from the equipment. This includes branches, bushes, weeds and grass.

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

You need to be careful with these delicate coils. Misshapen or crinkled fins can impact efficiency.

3. Fix Bent Fins

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

4. Clean the Inside

After extracting the fan, dig out leaves and other yard waste. Then wipe the inside of the equipment with a wet cloth.

The only coil cleaner you have to have is water. Use light pressure from a hose nozzle to wash the fins, directing water from the inside out. Replace the fan once you’re completed.

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, 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

Stop the juice to your furnace at the breaker box.

2. Check Your Filter

Furnace filters must be replaced every couple of months, depending on the kind you use.

Can’t remember when you last put in a new one? Take it out and tilt it toward the light. If there’s no light visible, 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 moldy, you can freshen 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. Reconnect 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 annual service!

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