Tips for Cleaning Your AC System

September 20, 2019

With summer ending in Williamsport, 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 dirt and yard waste. This accumulation can decrease your unit’s efficiency and cause it to break down. Or make it wear out more quickly.

We suggest having your air conditioning system professionally serviced once a year. Why? A clean unit can be more energy efficient, which could save you money on electric bills.

Consistent AC maintenance also helps our technicians locate and address slight issues before they turn into expensive problems.

Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner from Failing

Some of the work we do consists of:

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

There’s still time to have service done this fall—and we can get your furnace ready for heating season too.

Schedule maintenance now


There’s also some upkeep you can do on your own between professional tune-ups. It only takes about an hour to clean 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 Outside AC Unit

Choose a mild day to wash your air conditioner. At least 60 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) is best. That way, you can check the unit once you’ve cleaned it.

You’ll only need a handful 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

5 Steps to Clean the Outside Unit

1. Turn Off the Power

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

2. Clean the Outside

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

Then turn on the vacuum to cautiously clean the metallic fins. These pieces are also known as condenser coils and divert heat away from your system.

You need to be cautious with these fine coils. Warped or crumpled fins can influence efficiency.

3. Fix Bent Fins

Use a butter knife to adjust bent fins. You can also get a fin comb from an appliance parts website. A pro from Lycoming Heating Company should fix extensive damage.

4. Clean the Inside

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

The only coil cleaner you should use is water. Use gentle pressure from a hose nozzle to wash the fins, spraying water from the inside out. Reinstall the fan once you’re completed.

5. Test Your Air Conditioner

It’s safe to restore power and turn your air conditioner back on. If it’s not working correctly, give us a call at 570-244-2510.

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

3 Steps to 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 replaced every couple of months, depending on the model you use.

Unsure when you last checked yours? Take it out and tilt it toward the light. If you can’t see light through it, 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 pliable plastic tube. If it’s moldy, you can clean it by draining diluted bleach through the tube to flush 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 Lycoming Heating Company can make your system more efficient and help it last longer. We also offer convenient service agreements, so you won’t forget to schedule your annual service!