tools for an air conditioner service

Tips for Cleaning Your AC System in Libertyville

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

If you haven’t taken care of it recently, it could be clogged with mud and yard refuse. This accumulation can decrease your unit’s efficiency and cause it to break down. Or wear it down sooner.

We advise having your air conditioning system professionally serviced annually. Why? Clean equipment can be more energy efficient, which could save you money on electric expenses.

Consistent AC maintenance also helps our technicians spot and address slight issues before they become high-priced problems.

Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner from Failing

Some of the work we do involves:

  • Viewing the blower, motor, drain line and coils
  • Checking pressure and temperature
  • Examining lines, refrigerant levels 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 upkeep you can do alone between professional tune-ups. You only need about an hour to clean your outdoor condenser unit, as well as a few components 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 mild day to scrub your air conditioner. At least 60 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) is great. That way, you can check your system 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 slowly clean the metallic fins. These components are also referred to as condenser coils and transfer heat away from your system.

You need to be cautious with these fine coils. Warped or crushed fins can affect efficiency.

3. Fix Bent Fins

Use a butter knife to straighten warped fins. You can also use a fin comb from an appliance parts store. A pro from Toptec Heating, Cooling, Plumbing & Electrical should fix extensive damage.

4. Clean the Inside

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

The only coil cleaner you have to have is water. Use light pressure from a hose nozzle to rinse the fins, directing water from the inside out. Replace 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 running properly, contact us a call at 847-362-0262.

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 should be replaced every few months, depending on the type you use.

Unsure when you last replaced yours? Pull it out and angle it toward the light. If you can’t see light through it, 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 pliable plastic tube. If it’s scummy, you can clean it by draining diluted bleach through the tube to sanitize the line. Or you can get a new tube.

Clean 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 Toptec Heating, Cooling, Plumbing & Electrical can make your unit more efficient and help it last longer. We also offer handy service agreements, so you won’t forget to schedule your routine maintenance!

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