With summer coming to an end in Crown Point, now is a good time to get a kick start on air conditioner maintenance.

If you haven’t washed it lately, it could be blocked with mud and yard waste. This accumulation can reduce your unit’s efficiency and cause it to stop working. Or require replacement more quickly.

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

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

Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner from Failing

Some of the work we perform involves:

  • Viewing the blower, motor, drain line and coils
  • Confirming pressure and temperature
  • Testing lines, refrigerant amounts and connections

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

There’s also some work you can do by yourself between professional tune-ups. It only takes about an hour to clean 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?

How to Clean Your Outside AC Unit

Pick a mild day to clean your air conditioner. At least 60 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) is great. That way, you can test your equipment once you’ve cleaned it.

You’ll only need a handful of items:

  • 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

Empty waste from the equipment. This includes branches, bushes, weeds and grass.

Then turn on the vacuum to gently clean the metallic fins. These components are also known as condenser coils and move heat away from your system.

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

3. Fix Bent Fins

Use a butter knife to adjust bent fins. You can also use a fin comb from an appliance part website. A pro from Struven Heating & Cooling should take care of large amounts of damage.

4. Clean the Inside

After removing the fan, pull out leaves and other yard waste. Then wipe the inside of the system with a wet sponge.

The only coil cleaner you need is water. Use gentle pressure from a hose nozzle to rinse the fins, spraying water from the inside out. Reinstall the fan 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 operating correctly, contact us a call at 219-292-0956.

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

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

Unsure when you last checked yours? Remove it and hold it up to the light. If light isn’t visible, buy 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 draining watered-down bleach through the tube to flush the line. Or you can get a new tube.

Clean the drain port using a small, round paintbrush. Reconnect the drain tube and switch 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 Struven Heating & Cooling 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 annual maintenance!