With summer ending in Oxford, now is an ideal time to get a head start on air conditioner maintenance.

If you haven’t cleaned it this year, it could be blocked with dirt and yard waste. This collection can decrease your unit’s efficiency and cause it to stop working. Or make it wear out sooner.

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

Routine AC maintenance also helps our technicians discover and take care of slight issues before they become costly problems.

Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner from Failing

Some of the work we do consists of:

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

You can still have maintenance done this fall—and we can get your furnace ready for heating season too.

There’s also some maintenance you can do alone between professional tune-ups. It only takes about an hour to get the grime off your outdoor condenser unit, as well as a couple of 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

Choose a mild day to scrub your air conditioner. At least 60 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) is ideal. 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

Five Steps to Clean the Outside Unit

1. Turn Off the Power

Stop the juice to your air conditioner at the breaker box.

2. Clean the Outside

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

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

You need to be cautious with these fragile coils. Bent or crushed fins can impact efficiency.

3. Fix Bent Fins

Use a butter knife to straighten misshapen fins. You can also use a fin comb from an appliance part website. A pro from Franklin's Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc should fix severe damage.

4. Clean the Inside

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

The only coil cleaner you have to have is water. Use gentle pressure from a hose nozzle to clean the fins, directing 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 running properly, contact us a call at 662-281-1231.

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

After, Three Steps to Clean the Indoor Unit

1. Turn Off the Power

Stop the power to your furnace at the breaker box.

2. Check Your Filter

Furnace filters need to be exchanged every couple of months, depending on the type you use.

Can’t remember when you last replaced yours? Pull it out and tilt it toward the light. If light isn’t visible, get a new one.

3. Clean the Inside

Remove the blower door and vacuum up dust.

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

Clean the drain port using a small, round paintbrush. Reconnect the drain tube and turn 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 Franklin's Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc can make your system more efficient and help it last longer. We also have handy service agreements, so you won’t forget to book your regular maintenance!