tools for an air conditioner service

Tips for Cleaning Your AC System

With summer coming to an end in Tucson, now is a good time to get a kick start on air conditioner maintenance.

If you haven’t cleaned it lately, it could be blocked with dust and yard waste. This collection can reduce your unit’s efficiency and cause it to stop working. Or wear it down sooner.

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

Routine AC maintenance also helps our technicians locate and handle minor 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
  • Watching pressure and temperature
  • Examining lines, refrigerant totals and connections

There’s still time 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 maintenance you can do by yourself between professional tune-ups. You only need about an hour to wash your outdoor condenser unit, as well as a couple of 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

Choose a temperate day to wash your air conditioner. At least 60 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) is great. That way, you can check your equipment once you’ve cleaned it.

You’ll only need a few 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

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

2. Clean the Outside

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

Then run the vacuum to cautiously clean the metallic fins. These parts are also referred to as condenser coils and move heat away from your unit.

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

3. Fix Bent Fins

Use a butter knife to rearrange misshapen fins. You can also get a fin comb from an appliance parts website. A pro from Ambient Air should take care of large amounts of damage.

4. Clean the Inside

After extracting the fan, dig out leaves and other yard rubbish. Then wipe the inside of the unit with a wet cloth.

The only coil cleaner you need is water. Use gentle pressure from a hose nozzle to clean the fins, directing water from the inside out. Replace the fan once you’re completed.

5. Test Your Air Conditioner

Now it’s time to restore power and turn your air conditioner back on. If it’s not working properly, contact us a call at 520-201-3871.

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 juice to your furnace at the breaker box.

2. Check Your Filter

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

Can’t remember when you last checked yours? Take it out and angle it toward the light. If light isn’t visible, get 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 moldy, you can sanitize it by draining diluted bleach through the tube to clean the line. Or you can get a new tube.

Wash the drain port using a small, round paintbrush. Hook up 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 Ambient Air can make your equipment more efficient and help it last longer. We also offer convenient service agreements, so you won’t forget to book your regular tune-up!

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