tools for an air conditioner service

Tips for Cleaning Your AC System

With summer coming to an end in Manassas, now is a good time to get ahead on air conditioner maintenance.

If you haven’t cleaned it lately, it could be clogged with dirt and yard waste. This collection can reduce your unit’s efficiency and cause it to malfunction. Or make it wear out sooner.

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

Routine AC maintenance also helps our technicians spot and handle slight issues before they develop into high-priced problems.

Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner from Failing

Some of the work we perform involves:

  • Inspecting the blower, motor, drain line and coils
  • Watching pressure and temperature
  • Reviewing lines, refrigerant amounts and connections

You can still have service done this fall—and we can get your furnace prepared 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 get the grime off 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

Choose a mild day to clean your air conditioner. At least 60 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) is ideal. That way, you can check your system once you’ve cleaned it.

You’ll only need a couple 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

Take out rubbish from the system. This includes branches, bushes, weeds and grass.

Then use the vacuum to gently 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 fragile coils. Misshapen or crumpled fins can impact efficiency.

3. Fix Bent Fins

Use a butter knife to adjust bent fins. You can also get a fin comb from an appliance parts store. A pro from Air-Right Energy Design, Inc. should fix extensive damage.

4. Clean the Inside

After taking out the fan, pull out leaves and other yard litter. Then mop the inside of the unit with a wet sponge.

The only coil cleaner you have to have is water. Use light pressure from a hose nozzle to wash the fins, spraying water from the inside out. Reinstall the fan once you’re done.

5. Test Your Air Conditioner

Now it’s time to restore power and turn your air conditioner back on. If it’s not operating properly, reach out to us a call at 703-260-1148.

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 power to your furnace at the breaker box.

2. Check Your Filter

Furnace filters must be replaced every several months, depending on the kind you use.

Not sure when you last checked yours? Pull it out and tilt 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 examine your air conditioner’s drain line—it’s a supple plastic tube. If it’s scummy, you can freshen it by pouring thinned bleach through the tube to flush the line. Or you can buy a new tube.

Wash the drain port using a small, round paintbrush. Connect 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 Air-Right Energy Design, Inc. can make your unit more efficient and help it last longer. We also offer convenient service agreements, so you won’t forget to schedule your annual maintenance!

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