With summer winding down in Milwaukee, now is an ideal time to get ahead on air conditioner maintenance.

If you haven’t taken care of it lately, it could be blocked with dirt and yard refuse. This accumulation can decrease your unit’s efficiency and cause it to break down. Or require replacement faster.

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

Regular AC maintenance also helps our technicians discover and take care of slight issues before they become costly problems.

Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner from Failing

Some of the work we perform involves:

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

You can still have a tune-up done this fall—and we can get your furnace prepped for heating season too.

There’s also some work you can do on your own between professional tune-ups. You only need about an hour to wash your outdoor condenser unit, as well as several parts on your indoor HVAC system.

Related: How Often Should You Expect to Get Air Conditioning Service Done?

How to Clean Your Outside AC Unit

Pick a warm day to clean your air conditioner. At least 60 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) is best. That way, you can run the unit once you’ve cleaned it.

You’ll only need a handful of tools:

  • 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

Five Steps to Follow as You Clean the Outside Unit

1. Turn Off the Power

Cut the power 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 run the vacuum to cautiously clean the metallic fins. These pieces are also known as condenser coils and move heat away from your equipment.

You need to be cautious with these fragile coils. Bent or crumpled 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 part website. A pro from Done Right Air should take care of large amounts of damage.

4. Clean the Inside

After extracting the fan, dig out leaves and other yard litter. Then clean the inside of the equipment with a wet cloth.

The only coil cleaner you should use is water. Use light pressure from a hose nozzle to rinse the fins, spraying water from the inside out. Put the fan back in 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 properly, reach out to us a call at 414-207-4034.

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

Then, You Can Clean the Indoor Unit

1. Turn Off the Power

Stop the electricity to your furnace at the breaker box.

2. Check Your Filter

Furnace filters need to be exchanged every several months, depending on the type you use.

Not sure when you last checked yours? Take it out and hold it up to the light. If there’s no light 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 supple plastic tube. If it’s moldy, you can clean it by draining diluted bleach through the tube to clean the line. Or you can get a new tube.

Wash 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

Don’t Forget a Tune-Up Again

Annual air conditioner maintenance from Done Right Air can make your unit more efficient and help it last longer. We also provide convenient service agreements, so you won’t forget to book your regular service!