tools for an air conditioner service

Tips for Cleaning Your AC System

With summer coming to an end in Hudsonville, 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 dirt and debris from your yard. This buildup can limit your unit’s efficiency and cause it to malfunction. Or wear it down sooner.

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

Routine AC maintenance also helps our technicians discover and take care of minor issues before they turn into high-priced problems.

Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner from Failing

Some of the work we perform includes:

  • Inspecting the blower, motor, drain line and coils
  • Checking pressure and temperature
  • Testing lines, refrigerant totals and connections

You can still have a tune-up done this fall—and we can get your furnace ready for heating season too.

Schedule maintenance now


There’s also some maintenance you can do on your own between professional tune-ups. It only takes about an hour to wash your outdoor condenser unit, as well as several 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 warm day to clean your air conditioner. At least 60 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) is best. That way, you can check the unit once you’ve cleaned it.

You’ll only need a few 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

Cut the power 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 gently clean the metallic fins. These parts are also referred to as condenser coils and divert heat away from your equipment.

You need to be considerate of these delicate coils. Warped or crumpled fins can affect efficiency.

3. Fix Bent Fins

Use a butter knife to adjust warped fins. You can also buy a fin comb from an appliance parts website. A pro from West Michigan Heating & Air Conditioning Services should fix extensive damage.

4. Clean the Inside

After removing the fan, fish out leaves and other yard waste. Then wipe the inside of the unit with a wet cloth.

The only coil cleaner you need is water. Use gentle pressure from a hose nozzle to clean the fins, spraying water from the inside out. Replace the fan once you’re done.

5. Test Your Air Conditioner

You can now restore power and turn your air conditioner back on. If it’s not working properly, give us a call at (616) 669-3961.

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 need to be exchanged every couple of months, depending on the model you use.

Not sure when you last put in a new one? Remove it and tilt it toward the light. If light isn’t visible, buy 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 supple plastic tube. If it’s dirty, you can sanitize it by pouring diluted bleach through the tube to flush the line. Or you can buy a new tube.

Scrub the drain port using a small, round paintbrush. Hook up the drain tube and restore power.

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

Never Forget a Tune-Up Again

Annual air conditioner maintenance from West Michigan Heating & Air Conditioning Services can make your system more efficient and help it last longer. We also provide convenient service agreements, so you won’t forget to plan your annual service!

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