With summer winding down in Tucson and Phoenix, now is a good time to get a kick start on air conditioner maintenance.

If you haven’t cleaned it this year, it could be full of dust and debris from your yard. This collection can reduce 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 expenses.

Consistent AC maintenance also helps our technicians locate and take care of minor issues before they turn into expensive problems.

Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner from Failing

Some of the work we do consists of:

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

You can still 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. It only takes about an hour to clean your outdoor condenser unit, as well as a few pieces on your indoor HVAC system.

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

How to Clean Your Outdoor AC Unit

Select a mild day to wash 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

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

Remove debris from the equipment. This includes branches, bushes, weeds and grass.

Then turn on the vacuum to cautiously clean the metallic fins. These pieces are also known as condenser coils and transfer heat away from your equipment.

You need to be careful with these fine coils. Misshapen or crumpled fins can impact efficiency.

3. Fix Bent Fins

Use a butter knife to rearrange warped fins. You can also get a fin comb from an appliance part retailer. A pro from Desert Husky HVAC/R Services should handle extensive damage.

4. Clean the Inside

After taking out the fan, fish out leaves and other yard waste. Then clean the inside of the equipment with a wet cloth.

The only coil cleaner you have to have is water. Use gentle pressure from a hose nozzle to wash the fins, spraying water from the inside out. Reinstall 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 running like it should, give us a call at 520-416-5415.

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 electricity to your furnace at the breaker box.

2. Check Your Filter

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

Not sure when you last replaced yours? Remove it and tilt it toward the light. If you can’t see light through it, replace it.

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 sanitize it by draining thinned bleach through the tube to flush the line. Or you can buy a new tube.

Scrub 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 Desert Husky HVAC/R Services can make your equipment more efficient and help it last longer. We also provide convenient service agreements, so you won’t forget to schedule your annual service!