With summer coming to an end in Port Orchard, now is a great time to get a head start on air conditioner maintenance.

If you haven’t taken care of it recently, it could be full of mud and debris from your yard. This buildup can limit your unit’s efficiency and cause it to break down. Or require replacement faster.

We advise having your air conditioning system professionally serviced annually. Why? Clean equipment can be more energy efficient, which could save you money on utility bills.

Regular AC maintenance also helps our technicians discover and handle minor issues before they turn into expensive 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
  • Confirming pressure and temperature
  • Testing lines, refrigerant totals and connections

There’s still time to 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 several components on your indoor HVAC system.

Related: How Often Should You Expect to Get Air Conditioning Service Done?

How to Clean Your Outdoor AC Unit

Select a temperate day to clean 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 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

Five Steps to Follow as You Clean the Outside Unit

1. Turn Off the Power

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

2. Clean the Outside

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

Then use the vacuum to cautiously 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. Bent or crinkled fins can affect efficiency.

3. Fix Bent Fins

Use a butter knife to straighten warped fins. You can also buy a fin comb from an appliance part website. A pro from Air Masters Heating & Cooling should fix severe damage.

4. Clean the Inside

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

The only coil cleaner you should use is water. Use slight pressure from a hose nozzle to rinse the fins, showering water from the inside out. Replace the fan once you’re completed.

5. Test Your Air Conditioner

Now it’s time to restore power and turn your air conditioner back on. If it’s not operating correctly, reach out to us a call at 360-205-7115.

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

Then, You Can 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 must be changed every couple of months, depending on the kind you use.

Not sure when you last replaced yours? Pull it out and angle it toward 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 inspect your air conditioner’s drain line—it’s a pliable plastic tube. If it’s moldy, you can freshen it by draining diluted bleach through the tube to sanitize the line. Or you can buy a new tube.

Scrub 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

Don’t Forget About Maintenance Again

Annual air conditioner maintenance from Air Masters Heating & Cooling can make your unit more efficient and help it last longer. We also offer practical service agreements, so you won’t forget to plan your routine service!