With summer ending in Michigan City, now is a great time to get a head start on air conditioner maintenance.

If you haven’t washed it this year, it could be blocked with mud and yard waste. This accumulation can limit your unit’s efficiency and cause it to break down. Or make it wear out sooner.

We suggest having your air conditioning system professionally serviced every year. Why? A clean system can be more energy efficient, which could save you money on utility costs.

Consistent AC maintenance also helps our technicians spot and handle minor issues before they turn into expensive problems.

Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner from Failing

Some of the work we do involves:

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

It’s not too late to have maintenance done this fall—and we can get your furnace prepped for heating season too.

There’s also some maintenance you can do on your own between professional tune-ups. It only takes about an hour to get the grime off 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

Select a temperate day to wash your air conditioner. At least 60 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) is best. That way, you can check your system 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 Clean the Outside Unit

1. Turn Off the Power

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

2. Clean the Outside

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

Then turn on the vacuum to slowly clean the metallic fins. These components are also referred to as condenser coils and move heat away from your equipment.

You need to be considerate of these fragile coils. Bent or crumpled fins can affect efficiency.

3. Fix Bent Fins

Use a butter knife to rearrange bent fins. You can also get a fin comb from an appliance part retailer. A pro from Paniccia Heating & Cooling should handle extensive damage.

4. Clean the Inside

After extracting the fan, pull out leaves and other yard litter. Then wipe the inside of the unit with a wet cloth.

The only coil cleaner you should use is water. Use light 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 working like it should, contact us a call at 219-872-2198.

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

Three Steps to Clean the Indoor Unit

1. Turn Off the Power

Turn off the power to your furnace at the breaker box.

2. Check Your Filter

Furnace filters need to be replaced every few months, depending on the type you use.

Unsure when you last put in a new one? Remove it and tilt it toward the light. If light isn’t visible, replace it.

3. Clean the Inside

Remove the blower door and vacuum up dust.

Then examine your air conditioner’s drain line—it’s a supple plastic tube. If it’s scummy, you can clean it by flowing thinned bleach through the tube to flush the line. Or you can get a new tube.

Clean 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 Paniccia Heating & Cooling can make your system more efficient and help it last longer. We also provide convenient service agreements, so you won’t forget to book your routine service!