tools for an air conditioner service

Tips for Cleaning Your AC System in Pella

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

If you haven’t cleaned it recently, it could be full of dirt and yard waste. This buildup can reduce your unit’s efficiency and cause it to malfunction. Or require replacement sooner.

We suggest having your air conditioning system professionally maintained once a year. Why? A clean unit can be more energy efficient, which could save you money on electric bills.

Routine AC maintenance also helps our technicians locate and handle minor issues before they become expensive problems.

Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner from Failing

Some of the work we complete involves:

  • Taking a look at the blower, motor, drain line and coils
  • Watching pressure and temperature
  • Examining lines, refrigerant levels and connections

You can still have service 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 just need about an hour to clean your outdoor condenser unit, as well as a couple of pieces on your indoor HVAC system.

Related: How Often Should You Expect to Get Air Conditioning Service Done?

How to Clean Your Outside AC Unit

Pick a temperate day to scrub your air conditioner. At least 60 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) is best. That way, you can test the unit 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

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

2. Clean the Outside

Empty rubbish 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 called as condenser coils and move heat away from your system.

You need to be careful with these fragile coils. Bent or crushed fins can impact efficiency.

3. Fix Bent Fins

Use a butter knife to rearrange bent fins. You can also buy a fin comb from an appliance parts retailer. A pro from Van Haaften Plumbing & Heating should fix severe damage.

4. Clean the Inside

After taking out the fan, pull out leaves and other yard waste. Then clean the inside of the equipment with a wet sponge.

The only coil cleaner you should use is water. Use gentle pressure from a hose nozzle to rinse the fins, directing water from the inside out. Reinstall the fan once you’re done.

5. Test Your Air Conditioner

It’s safe to restore power and turn your air conditioner back on. If it’s not running like it should, give us a call at 641-628-3621.

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 exchanged every couple of months, depending on the type you use.

Not sure when you last put in a new one? Take it out and angle it toward the light. If light isn’t 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 pliable plastic tube. If it’s moldy, you can clean it by draining water-down bleach through the tube to sanitize 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 Van Haaften Plumbing & Heating can make your system more efficient and help it last longer. We also offer practical service agreements, so you won’t forget to schedule your annual service!

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