tools for an air conditioner service

Tips for Cleaning Your AC System in Drexel Hill

With summer winding down in Drexel Hill, now is a good time to get a head start on air conditioner maintenance.

If you haven’t washed it recently, it could be clogged with dust and yard waste. This buildup can decrease your unit’s efficiency and cause it to stop working. Or wear it down sooner.

We suggest having your air conditioning system professionally maintained once a year. Why? Clean equipment can be more energy efficient, which could save you money on energy bills.

Consistent AC maintenance also helps our technicians spot and take care of slight issues before they become expensive 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
  • Watching pressure and temperature
  • Testing lines, refrigerant amounts and connections

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

Schedule maintenance now


There’s also some upkeep you can do by yourself between professional tune-ups. You just need about an hour to wash your outdoor condenser unit, as well as several 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 temperate day to wash 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 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

Cut the electricity to your air conditioner at the breaker box.

2. Clean the Outside

Empty waste from the unit. This includes branches, bushes, weeds and grass.

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

You need to be considerate of these fine coils. Misshapen or crinkled fins can impact efficiency.

3. Fix Bent Fins

Use a butter knife to rearrange misshapen fins. You can also buy a fin comb from an appliance parts website. A pro from O'Brien Heating & Air Conditioning should take care of severe damage.

4. Clean the Inside

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

The only coil cleaner you have to have is water. Use light pressure from a hose nozzle to clean the fins, spraying water from the inside out. Put the fan back in once you’re completed.

5. Test Your Air Conditioner

You can now restore power and turn your air conditioner back on. If it’s not working like it should, reach out to us a call at 610-257-7035.

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

Not sure when you last replaced yours? Pull 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 pliable plastic tube. If it’s dirty, you can freshen it by pouring diluted bleach through the tube to flush the line. Or you can get a new tube.

Scrub the drain port using a small, round paintbrush. Hook up the drain tube and switch 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 O'Brien Heating & Air Conditioning can make your unit more efficient and help it last longer. We also offer convenient service agreements, so you won’t forget to book your routine service!

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