tools for an air conditioner service

Tips for Cleaning Your AC System

With summer coming to an end in Marshalltown, now is an ideal time to get a kick start on air conditioner maintenance.

If you haven’t taken care of it lately, it could be clogged with mud and yard refuse. This collection can limit your unit’s efficiency and cause it to malfunction. Or make it wear out faster.

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

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

Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner from Failing

Some of the work we complete includes:

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

There’s still time to have a tune-up done this fall—and we can get your furnace prepped 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 mild day to clean your air conditioner. At least 60 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) is best. That way, you can run your system 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

5 Steps to Clean the Outside Unit

1. Turn Off the Power

Cut the electricity to your air conditioner at the breaker box.

2. Clean the Outside

Remove 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 divert heat away from your equipment.

You need to be careful with these fine coils. Bent or crinkled fins can influence efficiency.

3. Fix Bent Fins

Use a butter knife to rearrange 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, fish out leaves and other yard rubbish. Then wipe the inside of the system with a wet rag.

The only coil cleaner you have to have is water. Use gentle pressure from a hose nozzle to rinse the fins, spraying 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, reach out to us a call at 641-812-2028.

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

3 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 should be exchanged every few months, depending on the kind you use.

Not sure when you last put in a new one? Remove it and tilt it toward the light. If you can’t see light through it, get 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 flowing diluted bleach through the tube to clean the line. Or you can get a new tube.

Scrub the drain port using a small, round paintbrush. Hook up 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 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 regular service!

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