tools for an air conditioner service

Tips for Cleaning Your AC System in Lexington

With summer ending in Lexington, now is an ideal time to get a head start on air conditioner maintenance.

If you haven’t cleaned it this year, it could be clogged with dust and yard waste. This accumulation can decrease your unit’s efficiency and cause it to break down. Or wear it down faster.

We recommend having your air conditioning system professionally maintained every year. Why? Clean equipment can be more energy efficient, which could save you money on utility expenses.

Routine AC maintenance also helps our technicians locate 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 complete includes:

  • Inspecting the blower, motor, drain line and coils
  • Confirming pressure and temperature
  • Testing lines, refrigerant totals and connections

You can still 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 on your own 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 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 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

5 Steps to Clean the Outside Unit

1. Turn Off the Power

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

2. Clean the Outside

Empty debris 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 move heat away from your system.

You need to be considerate of these fragile coils. Misshapen or crinkled fins can influence efficiency.

3. Fix Bent Fins

Use a butter knife to straighten bent fins. You can also buy a fin comb from an appliance parts website. A pro from James Heating & A/C, Inc should handle extensive damage.

4. Clean the Inside

After removing the fan, fish out leaves and other yard litter. Then mop the inside of the system with a wet rag.

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

5. Test Your Air Conditioner

You can now restore power and turn your air conditioner back on. If it’s not running properly, reach out to us a call at 336-853-6070.

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 electricity to your furnace at the breaker box.

2. Check Your Filter

Furnace filters need to be changed every several months, depending on the model you use.

Unsure when you last put in a new one? Pull it out and angle it toward the light. If you can’t see light through it, 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 flexible plastic tube. If it’s dirty, you can sanitize it by draining thinned 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 restore power.

Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner Running Well Through Fall

Never Forget a Tune-Up Again

Annual air conditioner maintenance from James Heating & A/C, Inc can make your unit more efficient and help it last longer. We also offer practical service agreements, so you won’t forget to schedule your routine maintenance!

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