tools for an air conditioner service

Tips for Cleaning Your AC System

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

If you haven’t washed it recently, it could be blocked with dirt and yard refuse. This collection can decrease your unit’s efficiency and cause it to stop working. Or make it wear out 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 utility bills.

Consistent AC maintenance also helps our technicians spot and address minor issues before they turn into 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
  • Checking pressure and temperature
  • Testing lines, refrigerant amounts and connections

It’s not too late to have maintenance done this fall—and we can get your furnace ready 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 wash your outdoor condenser unit, as well as a few 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 scrub your air conditioner. At least 60 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) is best. That way, you can test your equipment once you’ve cleaned it.

You’ll only need a handful of 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 rubbish from the equipment. This includes branches, bushes, weeds and grass.

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

You need to be considerate of these fragile coils. Bent or crushed fins can influence efficiency.

3. Fix Bent Fins

Use a butter knife to adjust misshapen fins. You can also buy a fin comb from an appliance parts retailer. A pro from Rapids Sheet Metal Works Inc should fix extensive damage.

4. Clean the Inside

After taking out the fan, pull out leaves and other yard rubbish. Then clean the inside of the equipment with a wet rag.

The only coil cleaner you need is water. Use slight pressure from a hose nozzle to rinse the fins, directing water from the inside out. Reinstall 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 working properly, reach out to us a call at 715-301-0256.

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 need to be changed every several months, depending on the kind you use.

Can’t remember when you last replaced yours? Take it out and angle it toward the light. If there’s no light visible, replace it.

3. Clean the Inside

Remove the blower door and vacuum up dust.

Then inspect your air conditioner’s drain line—it’s a pliable plastic tube. If it’s scummy, you can freshen it by pouring water-down bleach through the tube to sanitize the line. Or you can replace the tube.

Clean the drain port using a small, round paintbrush. Reconnect 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 Rapids Sheet Metal Works Inc can make your system more efficient and help it last longer. We also offer handy service agreements, so you won’t forget to book your regular tune-up!

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