back to Blog

How to Clean Your Air Conditioner

A clean air conditioner will work more efficiently and last longer, saving you money. A professional HVAC maintenance plan will ensure proper cleaning of your AC unit before the weather gets warm, but you can benefit from learning the process yourself. This guide will show you how to clean an air conditioning system.

Getting Started

Cleaning an air conditioner involves cleaning around the unit, cleaning the condenser coils, cleaning the filter, and cleaning the ducts. There are some simple steps to follow when cleaning your AC unit.

1. Gather Supplies

First, you need to collect the necessary supplies to get the job done. Supplies include:

  • Coil cleaner
  • Lubricant
  • Hose
  • Vacuum cleaner with brush attachment

2. Get Ready to Work

Next, you need to prepare yourself. Put on work clothes, gloves, goggles, and comfortable shoes. You want to ensure that you give yourself plenty of time to do a thorough job.

3. Turn Off Power to the AC System and Thermostat

You need to turn off power to your cooling system to prevent the risk of electric shock. In addition to all breakers connected to your air conditioner, be sure to disconnect the power to your thermostat as well.

Cleaning Outside

The two main tasks when cleaning the outside unit are clearing away any organic blockages and cleaning the condenser coils. First, you need to remove any leaves or debris in and around your outside unit and trim nearby plants to minimize the risk of a future blockage.

Next, you need to clean the outside unit itself. Apply the cleanser to the coils using a spray bottle and allow it to work for five minutes. You will then spray the cleanser off with the hose, avoiding soaking the motor. Wear gloves, and do not use the oil cleanser on your indoor unit since it contains dangerous fumes.

Use the soft brush attachment on your vacuum to clean the fins. Over time, fins can get slightly distorted and reduce airflow. If any fins are bent, now is the time to straighten them.

Cleaning Inside

You now need to point your attention to the inside unit to clean the evaporator coils and filter. Evaporator coils soak up the heat and moisture and send it to the condenser coils to be removed. The filter collects dust in the air to improve the air quality.

You’ll need to open the access panel to the indoor unit with a screwdriver to expose the evaporator coils. You can clean the evaporator coils using a number of methods, including:

  • Vacuum with a soft brush attachment
  • Compressed air
  • Soap and water
  • Chemical-free cleansers

You also need to clean the filter. You’ll remove the filter, which is now accessible from the open access panel, and use the same cleaning techniques you used on the evaporator coils, or you can soak it in water. After you finish cleaning both the evaporator coils and the filter, dry everything completely and reattach the access panel.

Cleaning the Ducts

Cleaning the ducts ensures proper airflow to every part of your house. Turn on your fan to make it easier to clean the dust away from the ducts. Lift the supply registers, and then unscrew the return air registers to remove the dust with a broom or duster with a long handle. Next, you’ll turn off the fan and ensure you turned off the power to the AC unit. Remove the air duct covers with a screwdriver and clean them. Finally, use a vacuum to clean the air ducts.

Test the Results

At this point, the air conditioner is clean. Now, you need to restore power to the system and ensure it works properly. Check your bill the next month to see if you notice any savings on your energy costs. If things didn’t work as planned, you should call for professional HVAC service.

Professional AC Cleaning

Cleaning an air conditioner requires an extensive understanding of your unit and access to the proper tools. To ensure the job gets done right, it’s best to schedule an appointment with Dugan Air.

We have over 14 years of experience providing heating and cooling services in the Franklin area. In addition to offering AC cleaning and maintenance, our team is available to assist with heating and cooling repairs and installations. Call Dugan Air today to set up an appointment or learn more about our services.



Request Service

Woman reading about HVAC maintenance plan details
Woman reading about HVAC maintenance plan details

Join Our Premium Clover Club

Take Advantage of Our HVAC Maintenance Plan

Have you ever wondered if a service plan is really the pot of gold it’s rumored to be? Trust us — ours is! Signing up for a Premium Clover Club membership includes the following perks:

  • Annual heating and cooling checks
  • Discounts on repairs and parts
  • Waived service call and overtime fees
  • Priority scheduling
  • Peace of mind
LEarn More