How to Clean Your Air Conditioner

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How to Clean Your Air Conditioner

Cleaning your air conditioner is one of the best things that you can do for your home. However, it can be a bit of a daunting task to do it yourself. Fortunately, cleaning your air conditioner doesn’t have to be difficult. 


Most air conditioners only require a basic clean with a few steps. These steps are easy for any homeowner comfortable around tools to complete. Continue reading for step-by-step instructions on how to clean your air conditioner.


Before you search “air conditioning repair companies near me”, take a look at Dial One Johnson Plumbing, Cooling and Heating. We are here for all of your air conditioning maintenance needs. Call (469) 518-4211 to schedule an appointment.

Importance of Air Conditioning Maintenance

It’s important to clean your air conditioner two times a year in addition to professional maintenance. Scheduling professional maintenance and completing your own maintenance provides you with many benefits:


  • Long lasting system
  • Fewer necessary repairs
  • Higher efficiency
  • Lower monthly energy costs


During maintenance appointments, technicians do much more than just cleaning. They usually replace filters, tighten loose joints and connections, lubricate moving parts and more. 


It’s important to thoroughly clean your air conditioning system during the seasons in which you don’t have professional maintenance scheduled. When you schedule air conditioning maintenance and complete your own, you are keeping your system in excellent shape. This, in turn, ensures your year-round comfort.

Cleaning Your Indoor Unit

Your indoor and outdoor units have different needs when it comes to cleaning. Indoor units can be a little more sensitive, so be gentle throughout the cleaning process. Follow these steps to properly clean your indoor unit:


  1. Turn off the unit. It’s always important to turn off the power to your system so that you can safely complete all of the tasks. You may want to grab a flashlight or complete the project during the day in case a few lights also turn off. 
  2. Remove the door that obstructs access to the evaporator coils. Typically all this requires is a screwdriver. Once you remove the screws, you can lift the door off and gain access to the coils.
  3. Clean the evaporator coils. With a duster, remove any dirt, dust and debris from the coils. You can also purchase a coil cleaner at your local home improvement store. All you have to do is spray and leave it. The cleaner foams up and then starts to drip. The cleaner will drip into the drain pan so there is no need to wipe it down. This is best to do on a warm day so that the natural condensation of the system will help the cleaner to be washed away. 
  4. Once the cleaner has completely drained, you can clean out the drain pan. It’s recommended to pour bleach and hot water down the drain to clean it out. Sometimes drain pans can develop algae and other build up so this solution helps to sanitize and clean. 
  5. Re-attach the door with the same screws that were originally used. You may have to use foil tape to attach the door if that is what your door was originally attached with. 
  6. Replace all filters in your home. Doing this helps to keep your system efficient. You can purchase filters at home improvement stores and even grocery stores. 


Completing all of these steps will ensure that your indoor unit stays in excellent shape. 

Cleaning Your Outdoor Unit

Your outdoor unit is a little more hardy due to the environmental conditions that it was designed to endure. However, it is important to remain gentle with this system as well. Take a look at the outdoor AC unit cleaning process:


  1. Disconnect the unit from power. This may mean flipping a power switch near the unit. Turning off the power keeps you safe as you are cleaning the system.
  2. Be sure to have at least two feet of clearance around the system. This means that you will need to trim landscaping and remove objects and debris that may be near the system. Two feet of clearance gives the system ample space to take in and exhaust air. 
  3. Remove the unit grille. Usually the grille is located on top of the unit. You should be able to do this with a screwdriver. There may be wires connected to the grilled, but there is typically enough space where you can lean it against the wall. 
  4. Remove debris from the bottom of the unit. You may have a pan at the bottom of your unit that collects debris; other models may not have this. WIthout the pan, you will have to take the debris out by hand or through a powerful vacuum. Typically this debris includes small twigs and leaves.
  5. Clean the condenser coils with water or with a coil cleaner. You can use a hose, set to a gentle setting, to clean off the coils. A coil cleaner also works well but is not necessary. Be careful with the coil cleaner as it can be irritable to the skin. 
  6. Straighten the fins. Before you try to straighten the fins you’ll need to purchase a fin tool. Once you have purchased this tool you can straighten the fins one by one. Doing this increases efficiency and air flow.
  7. Replace the grille. Be sure to use the same screws originally used to put the grille in place.


These maintenance tasks are the best way to take care of your outdoor unit.

Red Oak Heating, Cooling and Plumbing

For high quality Red Oak HVAC and plumbing services, you need Dial One Johnson Plumbing, Cooling and Heating. Our team is made up of highly qualified technicians who are ready to tackle any challenge. We provide installations, maintenance, repairs and replacements for all kinds of systems. When you hire our team for your air conditioner maintenance services, you can be sure that you are getting excellent workmanship. 


To schedule an appointment with our team at Dial One Johnson Plumbing, Cooling and Heating, give us a call at (469) 518-4211 or contact us online. 

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