With summer ending in Frederick, 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 dust and debris from your yard. This buildup can decrease your unit’s efficiency and cause it to break down. Or make it wear out faster.

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

Consistent AC maintenance also helps our technicians discover and handle slight issues before they develop into expensive problems.

Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner from Failing

Some of the work we complete consists of:

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

There’s still time to have a tune-up done this fall—and we can get your furnace ready for heating season too.

There’s also some maintenance you can do by yourself between professional tune-ups. You just need about an hour to get the grime off your outdoor condenser unit, as well as a few components on your indoor HVAC system.

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

Tips for Cleaning the 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 test your equipment once you’ve cleaned it.

You’ll only need a couple 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

Follow these Steps for Cleaning the Outside Unit

1. Turn Off the Power

Stop 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 parts are also referred to as condenser coils and move heat away from your unit.

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

3. Fix Bent Fins

Use a butter knife to adjust warped fins. You can also get a fin comb from an appliance part store. A pro from May's Heating & Air should handle severe damage.

4. Clean the Inside

After removing the fan, dig out leaves and other yard waste. Then mop 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 wash the fins, showering water from the inside out. Replace the fan once you’re finished.

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, give us a call at 301-690-0397.

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

After, Three Steps to Clean the Indoor Unit

1. Turn Off the Power

Cut the juice to your furnace at the breaker box.

2. Check Your Filter

Furnace filters should be exchanged every couple of months, depending on the kind you use.

Can’t remember when you last put in a new one? Take it out and hold it up to the light. If there’s no light 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 pliable plastic tube. If it’s moldy, you can freshen it by pouring watered-down bleach through the tube to clean the line. Or you can replace the tube.

Scrub 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

Never Forget a Tune-Up Again

Annual air conditioner maintenance from May's Heating & Air can make your unit more efficient and help it last longer. We also provide convenient service agreements, so you won’t forget to plan your annual tune-up!