tools for an air conditioner service

Tips for Cleaning Your AC System

With summer winding down in Manassas Park, now is a good time to get ahead on air conditioner maintenance.

If you haven’t taken care of it recently, it could be full of mud and debris from your yard. This accumulation can limit your unit’s efficiency and cause it to malfunction. Or wear it down faster.

We recommend having your air conditioning system professionally maintained every year. Why? A clean system can be more energy efficient, which could save you money on energy costs.

Consistent AC maintenance also helps our technicians discover and address small issues before they develop into high-priced problems.

Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner from Failing

Some of the work we perform consists of:

  • Taking a look at the blower, motor, drain line and coils
  • Checking pressure and temperature
  • Examining lines, refrigerant totals and connections

It’s not too late to have a tune-up 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 by yourself between professional tune-ups. You just need about an hour to wash your outdoor condenser unit, as well as a couple of 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

Choose a temperate day to wash your air conditioner. At least 60 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) is great. That way, you can run the unit 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

Switch off the power to your air conditioner at the breaker box.

2. Clean the Outside

Remove waste from the system. This includes branches, bushes, weeds and grass.

Then turn on the vacuum to gently clean the metallic fins. These pieces are also known as condenser coils and divert heat away from your system.

You need to be careful with these fine coils. Misshapen or crinkled fins can affect efficiency.

3. Fix Bent Fins

Use a butter knife to rearrange warped fins. You can also use a fin comb from an appliance parts retailer. A pro from Woody's Sudden Service Inc should handle large amounts of damage.

4. Clean the Inside

After taking out the fan, dig out leaves and other yard waste. Then mop the inside of the unit with a wet cloth.

The only coil cleaner you should use is water. Use slight pressure from a hose nozzle to wash the fins, directing water from the inside out. Put the fan back in once you’re done.

5. Test Your Air Conditioner

It’s safe to restore power and turn your air conditioner back on. If it’s not working like it should, reach out to us a call at 703-278-2036.

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

3 Steps to 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 must be exchanged every several months, depending on the kind you use.

Can’t remember when you last replaced yours? Pull it out and hold it up to the light. If light isn’t visible, replace it.

3. Clean the Inside

Remove the blower door and vacuum up dust.

Then examine your air conditioner’s drain line—it’s a supple plastic tube. If it’s scummy, you can freshen it by flowing water-down bleach through the tube to flush the line. Or you can buy a new tube.

Wash the drain port using a small, round paintbrush. Reconnect 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 Woody's Sudden Service Inc can make your equipment more efficient and help it last longer. We also provide handy service agreements, so you won’t forget to schedule your routine tune-up!

Back To Blog