Being a homeowner includes maintaining the upkeep and appearance of your home. Start a routine that works best for your schedule and hire additional help if you need it. A schedule helps you keep track of what needs cleaning and when. For example, when was the last time you cleaned your AC unit? If you can’t remember or your answer is never, start now. Your AC needs cleaning just like the rest of your home. If you stick to a schedule and follow these steps, cleaning your unit will be easy.

Clean the Outside Unit:

To clean the outside unit, begin by shutting off the unit’s power. Once it is safely shut off, carefully vacuum the fins with a soft brush. Some units may require you to unscrew and lift a metal box in order to access the fins. Refer to your owner’s manual for directions and lift the box carefully to avoid bumping the fins. Once that is done, you’ll need to unscrew the top grille to remove the fan. Lift the fan out and carefully set it aside without straining the electrical wires. Pull out any debris and wipe the interior with a damp cloth.

Restart the Outside Unit:

Once you have cleaned the outside unit, wait at least five minutes before switching it back on. This gives the compressor time to decompress before restarting. Once power is restored to the unit, confirm that it is properly cooling. Set your thermostat to “cool” and wait ten minutes. Once the air has had time to run, feel the insulated tube to make sure it is cool to the touch. Next, feel the uninsulated tube, which should feel warm to the touch. Be on the lookout for dark drip marks beneath the tube joints and on the bottom of the case. These could indicate an oil or coolant leak, which needs professional service.

Clean the Indoor Unit:

The final step is to clean the indoor unit. Turn off power to the furnace from the main panel. Once the thermostat is completely shut off, check the furnace filter for gunky build up and change it if necessary. Once this is done, open the blower compartment and vacuum up any dust. Next, check the drain condensation tube for algae growth. Clean the tube with a solution of one part bleach to sixteen-parts water. Stick a pipe cleaner in the port the drain tube was connected to and clean any debris. Reinstall the tube and restore power to your thermostat.


With these three easy steps to clean your AC unit, you can stay on top of needed maintenance and prevent costly repairs in the future. However, there are some problems that only a professional can solve. If you’re in need of electrical repairs and services in the Houston, Texas area, give Enviromax Services Inc. a call at (713) 466-7555.