tools for an air conditioner service

Tips for Cleaning Your AC System

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

If you haven’t taken care of it recently, it could be full of dirt and yard waste. This accumulation can limit your unit’s efficiency and cause it to stop working. Or make it wear out sooner.

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

Regular AC maintenance also helps our technicians locate and take care of minor issues before they turn into high-priced problems.

Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner from Failing

Some of the work we perform includes:

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

There’s still time to have maintenance done this fall—and we can get your furnace ready for heating season too.

Schedule maintenance now


There’s also some work you can do on your own between professional tune-ups. You only need about an hour to wash 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 best. That way, you can check your system once you’ve cleaned it.

You’ll only need a handful 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

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

2. Clean the Outside

Empty waste from the equipment. This includes branches, bushes, weeds and grass.

Then turn on the vacuum to slowly clean the metallic fins. These pieces are also known as condenser coils and transfer heat away from your unit.

You need to be considerate of these fragile coils. Warped or crumpled fins can affect efficiency.

3. Fix Bent Fins

Use a butter knife to rearrange misshapen fins. You can also buy a fin comb from an appliance parts store. A pro from Northern Comfort Inc should fix extensive damage.

4. Clean the Inside

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

The only coil cleaner you need is water. Use light pressure from a hose nozzle to clean the fins, showering water from the inside out. Put the fan back in once you’re completed.

5. Test Your Air Conditioner

It’s safe to restore power and turn your air conditioner back on. If it’s not running correctly, contact us a call at 507-387-6596.

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 need to be changed every few months, depending on the type you use.

Unsure when you last put in a new one? Remove it and hold it up to the light. If there’s no light visible, get a new one.

3. Clean the Inside

Remove the blower door and vacuum up dust.

Then inspect your air conditioner’s drain line—it’s a flexible plastic tube. If it’s scummy, you can sanitize it by draining water-down bleach through the tube to sanitize the line. Or you can get a new tube.

Scrub 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 Northern Comfort Inc can make your system more efficient and help it last longer. We also have convenient service agreements, so you won’t forget to book your regular tune-up!

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