With summer winding down in Palm Coast, now is a good time to get a kick start on air conditioner maintenance.

If you haven’t washed it this year, it could be full of dirt and yard refuse. This buildup can decrease your unit’s efficiency and cause it to stop working. Or make it wear out faster.

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

Routine AC maintenance also helps our technicians spot and take care of small issues before they become costly problems.

Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner from Failing

Some of the work we do includes:

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

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

There’s also some work 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?

Cleaning Out the Outside AC Unit

Choose a warm day to scrub your air conditioner. At least 60 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) is best. That way, you can test your system once you’ve cleaned it.

You’ll only need a handful of 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

Five 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 rubbish from the equipment. This includes branches, bushes, weeds and grass.

Then use the vacuum to slowly clean the metallic fins. These parts are also called condenser coils and move heat away from your equipment.

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

3. Fix Bent Fins

Use a butter knife to straighten misshapen fins. You can also use a fin comb from an appliance part website. A pro from Cooks Air Conditioning and Heating Specialists should take care of large amounts of damage.

4. Clean the Inside

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

The only coil cleaner you should use is water. Use slight pressure from a hose nozzle to wash the fins, spraying water from the inside out. Reinstall 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 correctly, give us a call at 386-313-8766.

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

Then, You Can Clean the Indoor Unit

1. Turn Off the Power

Stop the juice to your furnace at the breaker box.

2. Check Your Filter

Furnace filters need to be changed every few months, depending on the kind you use.

Unsure when you last checked yours? Take it out and tilt it toward the light. If light isn’t visible, replace it.

3. Clean the Inside

Remove the blower door and vacuum up dust.

Then inspect your air conditioner’s drain line—it’s a supple plastic tube. If it’s moldy, you can freshen it by draining thinned bleach through the tube to sanitize the line. Or you can get a new tube.

Scrub the drain port using a small, round paintbrush. Reconnect the drain tube and restore power.

Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner Running Well Through Fall

Never Forget About Maintenance Again

Annual air conditioner maintenance from Cooks Air Conditioning and Heating Specialists can make your unit more efficient and help it last longer. We also provide convenient service agreements, so you won’t forget to book your annual maintenance!