tools for an air conditioner service

Tips for Cleaning Your AC System

With summer coming to an end in Laguna Niguel, now is a great time to get ahead on air conditioner maintenance.

If you haven’t taken care of it lately, it could be full of dust and debris from your yard. This buildup can limit your unit’s efficiency and cause it to malfunction. Or wear it down more quickly.

We advise having your air conditioning system professionally maintained annually. Why? A clean unit can be more energy efficient, which could save you money on electric bills.

Consistent AC maintenance also helps our technicians discover and address slight issues before they develop into expensive 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
  • Confirming pressure and temperature
  • Testing lines, refrigerant levels and connections

You can still have service 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 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

Pick a mild day to wash your air conditioner. At least 60 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) is best. That way, you can run the unit once you’ve cleaned it.

You’ll only need a couple of things:

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

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

You need to be careful with these fine coils. Bent or crinkled fins can affect efficiency.

3. Fix Bent Fins

Use a butter knife to adjust misshapen fins. You can also use a fin comb from an appliance parts retailer. A pro from Ocean Air Conditioning and Heating should handle large amounts of damage.

4. Clean the Inside

After removing the fan, dig out leaves and other yard litter. Then mop the inside of the system with a wet sponge.

The only coil cleaner you need is water. Use slight pressure from a hose nozzle to clean the fins, spraying water from the inside out. Put the fan back in once you’re completed.

5. Test Your Air Conditioner

You can now restore power and turn your air conditioner back on. If it’s not working correctly, contact us a call at 949-525-9119.

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 exchanged every several months, depending on the kind you use.

Unsure when you last checked yours? 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 take a look at your air conditioner’s drain line—it’s a supple plastic tube. If it’s moldy, you can sanitize it by pouring thinned 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 Ocean Air Conditioning and Heating can make your equipment more efficient and help it last longer. We also provide handy service agreements, so you won’t forget to schedule your regular maintenance!

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