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

If you haven’t washed it lately, it could be full of dirt and debris from your yard. This accumulation can limit your unit’s efficiency and cause it to break down. Or wear it down more quickly.

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

Routine AC maintenance also helps our technicians spot and address slight issues before they turn into high-priced problems.

Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner from Failing

Some of the work we complete involves:

  • Inspecting the blower, motor, drain line and coils
  • Watching pressure and temperature
  • Examining lines, refrigerant levels and connections

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

There’s also some work you can do alone between professional tune-ups. You only need about an hour to get the grime off your outdoor condenser unit, as well as a couple of parts on your indoor HVAC system.

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

Tips for Cleaning the Outdoor 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 run your equipment once you’ve cleaned it.

You’ll only need a few 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

Switch off the power to your air conditioner at the breaker box.

2. Clean the Outside

Take out waste from the system. This includes branches, bushes, weeds and grass.

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

You need to be considerate of these delicate coils. Bent or crinkled fins can influence efficiency.

3. Fix Bent Fins

Use a butter knife to straighten misshapen fins. You can also use a fin comb from an appliance part store. A pro from Bell Mechanical Services should handle severe damage.

4. Clean the Inside

After removing the fan, fish out leaves and other yard rubbish. Then mop the inside of the system with a wet cloth.

The only coil cleaner you should use is water. Use gentle pressure from a hose nozzle to clean the fins, spraying water from the inside out. Reinstall the fan once you’re finished.

5. Test Your Air Conditioner

It’s safe to restore power and turn your air conditioner back on. If it’s not operating correctly, reach out to us a call at 888-863-0560.

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

After, Three Steps to Clean the Indoor Unit

1. Turn Off the Power

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

2. Check Your Filter

Furnace filters need to be changed every few months, depending on the kind you use.

Can’t remember when you last checked yours? Pull it out and hold it up to 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 flexible plastic tube. If it’s scummy, you can clean it by flowing watered-down bleach through the tube to sanitize the line. Or you can buy a new tube.

Clean the drain port using a small, round paintbrush. Connect the drain tube and restore power.

Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner Running Well Through Fall

Don’t Forget About Maintenance Again

Annual air conditioner maintenance from Bell Mechanical Services can make your equipment more efficient and help it last longer. We also provide practical service agreements, so you won’t forget to plan your annual service!