tools for an air conditioner service

Tips for Cleaning Your AC System

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

If you haven’t taken care of it this year, it could be blocked with dust and yard waste. This accumulation can decrease your unit’s efficiency and cause it to break down. Or wear it down more quickly.

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

Regular AC maintenance also helps our technicians locate and handle slight issues before they develop into costly problems.

Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner from Failing

Some of the work we perform consists of:

  • Viewing the blower, motor, drain line and coils
  • Checking pressure and temperature
  • Examining lines, refrigerant totals and connections

There’s still time to have service done this fall—and we can get your furnace ready for heating season too.

Schedule maintenance now


There’s also some maintenance you can do alone between professional tune-ups. You just need about an hour to clean 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 mild day to wash your air conditioner. At least 60 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) is ideal. That way, you can check your system 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

Switch off 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 slowly clean the metallic fins. These parts are also referred to as condenser coils and move heat away from your unit.

You need to be cautious with these delicate coils. Warped or crushed fins can affect efficiency.

3. Fix Bent Fins

Use a butter knife to rearrange warped fins. You can also buy a fin comb from an appliance parts store. A pro from WM J Kraus & Son should fix large amounts of damage.

4. Clean the Inside

After taking out the fan, pull out leaves and other yard litter. Then clean the inside of the unit with a wet sponge.

The only coil cleaner you have to have is water. Use slight pressure from a hose nozzle to rinse the fins, directing water from the inside out. Put the fan back in 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 correctly, contact us a call at 319-229-2318.

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 juice to your furnace at the breaker box.

2. Check Your Filter

Furnace filters should be replaced every several months, depending on the model you use.

Unsure when you last put in a new one? Pull it out and angle it toward the light. If you can’t see light through it, replace it.

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 pliable 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.

Wash 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 WM J Kraus & Son can make your unit more efficient and help it last longer. We also offer practical service agreements, so you won’t forget to schedule your routine service!

Back To Blog