tools for an air conditioner service

Tips for Cleaning Your AC System in Mechanicsville

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

If you haven’t taken care of it this year, it could be clogged with dirt and yard waste. This buildup can decrease your unit’s efficiency and cause it to stop working. Or wear it down more quickly.

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

Regular AC maintenance also helps our technicians locate and address small issues before they develop into expensive 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
  • Watching pressure and temperature
  • Examining lines, refrigerant levels and connections

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

Schedule maintenance now


There’s also some upkeep you can do by yourself between professional tune-ups. It only takes about an hour to clean your outdoor condenser unit, as well as several pieces 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 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 few 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 power to your air conditioner at the breaker box.

2. Clean the Outside

Remove rubbish from the unit. This includes branches, bushes, weeds and grass.

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

You need to be careful with these fragile coils. Bent or crushed fins can affect efficiency.

3. Fix Bent Fins

Use a butter knife to straighten warped fins. You can also use a fin comb from an appliance parts store. A pro from M & S Heating & Air LLC should take care of large amounts of damage.

4. Clean the Inside

After removing the fan, dig out leaves and other yard rubbish. Then mop 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 rinse the fins, spraying water from the inside out. Put the fan back in once you’re finished.

5. Test Your Air Conditioner

You can now restore power and turn your air conditioner back on. If it’s not operating properly, reach out to us a call at 301-363-4699.

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 must be exchanged every several months, depending on the kind you use.

Can’t remember when you last put in a new one? 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 take a look at your air conditioner’s drain line—it’s a flexible plastic tube. If it’s scummy, you can sanitize it by flowing diluted bleach through the tube to clean the line. Or you can buy a new tube.

Scrub 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 M & S Heating & Air LLC can make your equipment more efficient and help it last longer. We also have convenient service agreements, so you won’t forget to schedule your regular tune-up!

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