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

If you haven’t taken care of it recently, it could be blocked with mud and yard waste. This collection can reduce your unit’s efficiency and cause it to malfunction. Or make it wear out more quickly.

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

Routine AC maintenance also helps our technicians locate and handle minor issues before they become high-priced problems.

Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner from Failing

Some of the work we do involves:

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

You can still 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 several components on your indoor HVAC system.

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

How to Clean Your Outdoor AC Unit

Select a mild day to clean your air conditioner. At least 60 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) is great. That way, you can check your system 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

Five Steps to Clean the Outside Unit

1. Turn Off the Power

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

2. Clean the Outside

Take out debris from the unit. This includes branches, bushes, weeds and grass.

Then run the vacuum to cautiously clean the metallic fins. These pieces are also referred to as condenser coils and move heat away from your unit.

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

3. Fix Bent Fins

Use a butter knife to rearrange bent fins. You can also get a fin comb from an appliance part store. A pro from Bishop’s HVAC should take care of extensive damage.

4. Clean the Inside

After taking out the fan, pull out leaves and other yard litter. Then wipe the inside of the equipment with a wet cloth.

The only coil cleaner you need is water. Use gentle pressure from a hose nozzle to clean the fins, directing water from the inside out. Replace the fan once you’re done.

5. Test Your Air Conditioner

You can now restore power and turn your air conditioner back on. If it’s not operating properly, give us a call at 916-591-6889.

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 must be exchanged every few months, depending on the type you use.

Not sure when you last checked yours? Remove it and angle 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 flexible plastic tube. If it’s moldy, you can sanitize it by pouring 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. Connect the drain tube and switch the power back on.

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

Never Forget About Maintenance Again

Annual air conditioner maintenance from Bishop’s HVAC can make your system more efficient and help it last longer. We also provide convenient service agreements, so you won’t forget to plan your routine service!