tools for an air conditioner service

Tips for Cleaning Your AC System

With summer ending in Bakersfield, now is an ideal time to get a head start on air conditioner maintenance.

If you haven’t cleaned it this year, it could be full of dust and yard waste. This buildup can reduce your unit’s efficiency and cause it to stop working. Or require replacement faster.

We suggest having your air conditioning system professionally tuned-up annually. Why? A clean unit can be more energy efficient, which could save you money on utility bills.

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

Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner from Failing

Some of the work we do consists of:

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

It’s not too late to have service done this fall—and we can get your furnace ready for heating season too.

Schedule maintenance now


There’s also some maintenance you can do on your own between professional tune-ups. You just need about an hour to get the grime off your outdoor condenser unit, as well as a couple of 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

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 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

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

Then use the vacuum to gently clean the metallic fins. These pieces are also called as condenser coils and move heat away from your unit.

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

3. Fix Bent Fins

Use a butter knife to adjust warped fins. You can also use a fin comb from an appliance parts retailer. A pro from Hillcrest Air Conditioning & Plumbing should take care of large amounts of damage.

4. Clean the Inside

After removing the fan, pull out leaves and other yard waste. Then mop the inside of the system with a wet sponge.

The only coil cleaner you have to have is water. Use light pressure from a hose nozzle to rinse the fins, showering 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 working properly, contact us a call at 661-437-3499.

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

3 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 should be changed every several months, depending on the type you use.

Not sure when you last checked yours? Pull it out and tilt it toward the light. If light isn’t visible, buy a new one.

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 dirty, you can freshen it by flowing diluted bleach through the tube to flush the line. Or you can get a new tube.

Clean the drain port using a small, round paintbrush. Reconnect the drain tube and restore power.

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

Never Forget a Tune-Up Again

Annual air conditioner maintenance from Hillcrest Air Conditioning & Plumbing can make your equipment more efficient and help it last longer. We also have handy service agreements, so you won’t forget to schedule your annual maintenance!

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