tools for an air conditioner service

Tips for Cleaning Your AC System in Auburn

With summer ending in Auburn, now is a great time to get ahead on air conditioner maintenance.

If you haven’t washed it lately, it could be clogged with dirt and debris from your yard. This collection can decrease your unit’s efficiency and cause it to malfunction. Or require replacement more quickly.

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

Routine AC maintenance also helps our technicians discover and handle small issues before they turn into high-priced problems.

Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner from Failing

Some of the work we perform consists of:

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

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

Schedule maintenance now


There’s also some maintenance you can do by yourself between professional tune-ups. You just need about an hour to wash your outdoor condenser unit, as well as several 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

Select a warm day to wash your air conditioner. At least 60 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) is ideal. That way, you can test your equipment once you’ve cleaned it.

You’ll only need a handful 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

5 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 debris from the unit. This includes branches, bushes, weeds and grass.

Then run the vacuum to slowly clean the metallic fins. These pieces are also called as condenser coils and divert heat away from your equipment.

You need to be cautious with these fragile coils. Warped or crumpled fins can impact 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 Forster Heating should fix severe damage.

4. Clean the Inside

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

The only coil cleaner you have to have is water. Use slight pressure from a hose nozzle to clean the fins, directing water from the inside out. Replace the fan once you’re finished.

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 530-885-8081.

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 electricity to your furnace at the breaker box.

2. Check Your Filter

Furnace filters must be replaced every couple of months, depending on the type you use.

Not sure when you last put in a new one? Remove it and hold it up to 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 take a look at your air conditioner’s drain line—it’s a supple plastic tube. If it’s scummy, you can freshen it by draining diluted bleach through the tube to flush the line. Or you can replace the tube.

Scrub 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

Never Forget a Tune-Up Again

Annual air conditioner maintenance from Forster Heating can make your system more efficient and help it last longer. We also offer practical service agreements, so you won’t forget to plan your regular tune-up!

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