Tips for Cleaning Your AC System

September 20, 2019

With summer winding down in Beaverton, now is a great time to get ahead on air conditioner maintenance.

If you haven’t taken care of it lately, it could be clogged with dust and yard waste. This accumulation can limit your unit’s efficiency and cause it to break down. Or wear it down more quickly.

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

Regular AC maintenance also helps our technicians discover and handle minor issues before they develop into costly problems.

Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner from Failing

Some of the work we complete includes:

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

You can still have service done this fall—and we can get your furnace prepped for heating season too.

Schedule maintenance now


There’s also some upkeep you can do alone between professional tune-ups. You only 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?

How to Clean Your Outside AC Unit

Select a temperate day to wash your air conditioner. At least 60 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) is best. That way, you can check 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

Switch off the power to your air conditioner at the breaker box.

2. Clean the Outside

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

Then turn on the vacuum to slowly clean the metallic fins. These parts are also called as condenser coils and divert heat away from your unit.

You need to be considerate of these delicate coils. Bent or crumpled fins can impact efficiency.

3. Fix Bent Fins

Use a butter knife to adjust bent fins. You can also use a fin comb from an appliance parts store. A pro from Garoken Energy Co. Inc. should handle severe damage.

4. Clean the Inside

After extracting the fan, dig out leaves and other yard litter. Then mop the inside of the unit with a wet cloth.

The only coil cleaner you need is water. Use slight pressure from a hose nozzle to wash the fins, spraying water from the inside out. Put the fan back in 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 correctly, contact us a call at 503-374-1934.

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

3 Steps to Clean the Indoor Unit

1. Turn Off the Power

Cut the power to your furnace at the breaker box.

2. Check Your Filter

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

Unsure 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 pliable plastic tube. If it’s dirty, you can clean it by flowing thinned bleach through the tube to flush the line. Or you can buy a new tube.

Clean the drain port using a small, round paintbrush. Hook up 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 Garoken Energy Co. Inc. 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 annual maintenance!