tools for an air conditioner service

Tips for Cleaning Your AC System in Marshalltown

With summer ending in Marshalltown, now is an ideal time to get ahead on air conditioner maintenance.

If you haven’t taken care of it recently, it could be clogged with dust and yard waste. This collection can decrease your unit’s efficiency and cause it to stop working. Or make it wear out faster.

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 expenses.

Regular AC maintenance also helps our technicians discover and handle small issues before they become expensive problems.

Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner from Failing

Some of the work we complete involves:

  • Taking a look at the blower, motor, drain line and coils
  • Checking pressure and temperature
  • Examining lines, refrigerant levels and connections

It’s not too late to 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 alone between professional tune-ups. It only takes about an hour to clean 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?

How to Clean Your Outside AC Unit

Choose a temperate day to clean your air conditioner. At least 60 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) is ideal. That way, you can run your equipment once you’ve cleaned it.

You’ll only need a few tools:

  • 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 juice to your air conditioner at the breaker box.

2. Clean the Outside

Empty debris from the system. This includes branches, bushes, weeds and grass.

Then use the vacuum to slowly clean the metallic fins. These parts are also known as condenser coils and transfer heat away from your unit.

You need to be cautious with these delicate coils. Bent or crinkled fins can influence efficiency.

3. Fix Bent Fins

Use a butter knife to adjust warped fins. You can also buy a fin comb from an appliance parts store. A pro from Kapaun & Brown Inc. should fix extensive damage.

4. Clean the Inside

After taking out the fan, pull out leaves and other yard waste. Then wipe 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 rinse the fins, directing water from the inside out. Replace the fan once you’re finished.

5. Test Your Air Conditioner

It’s safe to restore power and turn your air conditioner back on. If it’s not operating properly, contact us a call at 641-753-3563.

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 power to your furnace at the breaker box.

2. Check Your Filter

Furnace filters must be exchanged every few months, depending on the kind you use.

Not sure when you last checked yours? Remove it and angle it toward the light. If you can’t see light through it, 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 freshen it by draining diluted bleach through the tube to clean the line. Or you can get a new tube.

Wash 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 Kapaun & Brown Inc. can make your unit more efficient and help it last longer. We also offer practical service agreements, so you won’t forget to plan your annual service!

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