Tips for Cleaning Your AC System

September 20, 2019

With summer winding down in Hattiesburg, 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 dust and yard refuse. This collection can limit your unit’s efficiency and cause it to malfunction. Or make it wear out sooner.

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

Consistent AC maintenance also helps our technicians locate and handle small issues before they become costly problems.

Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner from Failing

Some of the work we perform involves:

  • Viewing the blower, motor, drain line and coils
  • Checking pressure and temperature
  • Examining lines, refrigerant totals and connections

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

Schedule maintenance now


There’s also some work you can do alone between professional tune-ups. You just need about an hour to clean your outdoor condenser unit, as well as a couple of 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 ideal. That way, you can run your system 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 equipment. This includes branches, bushes, weeds and grass.

Then turn on the vacuum to slowly clean the metallic fins. These pieces are also referred to as condenser coils and divert heat away from your equipment.

You need to be cautious with these fragile coils. Misshapen or crinkled fins can influence 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 Oak Grove Heating & Air Conditioning should take care of large amounts of damage.

4. Clean the Inside

After extracting the fan, fish out leaves and other yard waste. Then wipe the inside of the system with a wet rag.

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

5. Test Your Air Conditioner

Now it’s time to restore power and turn your air conditioner back on. If it’s not operating correctly, contact us a call at 601-292-9763.

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

3 Steps to Clean the Indoor Unit

1. Turn Off the Power

Turn off the juice to your furnace at the breaker box.

2. Check Your Filter

Furnace filters should be replaced every few months, depending on the model you use.

Can’t remember when you last checked yours? Take it out and hold it up to the light. If light isn’t visible, 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 supple plastic tube. If it’s scummy, you can sanitize it by pouring diluted bleach through the tube to sanitize the line. Or you can get a new tube.

Wash the drain port using a small, round paintbrush. Hook up the drain tube and turn 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 Oak Grove Heating & Air Conditioning can make your equipment more efficient and help it last longer. We also offer convenient service agreements, so you won’t forget to plan your regular service!