tools for an air conditioner service

Tips for Cleaning Your AC System in Baltimore

With summer coming to an end in Baltimore, now is a good time to get ahead on air conditioner maintenance.

If you haven’t washed it recently, it could be clogged with dust and yard refuse. This accumulation can reduce your unit’s efficiency and cause it to malfunction. Or require replacement faster.

We recommend having your air conditioning system professionally maintained annually. Why? A clean system can be more energy efficient, which could save you money on electric expenses.

Routine AC maintenance also helps our technicians spot and take care of slight issues before they turn into expensive 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
  • Testing lines, refrigerant amounts and connections

There’s still time to have a tune-up done this fall—and we can get your furnace prepared for heating season too.

Schedule maintenance now


There’s also some maintenance you can do alone between professional tune-ups. You only need about an hour to clean 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

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

You’ll only need a couple of things:

  • 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

Cut the power to your air conditioner at the breaker box.

2. Clean the Outside

Take out debris from the equipment. This includes branches, bushes, weeds and grass.

Then turn on the vacuum to gently clean the metallic fins. These components are also called as condenser coils and transfer heat away from your unit.

You need to be cautious with these delicate coils. Warped or crushed fins can affect efficiency.

3. Fix Bent Fins

Use a butter knife to adjust warped fins. You can also use a fin comb from an appliance parts website. A pro from Quality Refrigeration Services should handle extensive damage.

4. Clean the Inside

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

The only coil cleaner you have to have is water. Use gentle pressure from a hose nozzle to rinse the fins, spraying water from the inside out. Put the fan back in once you’re finished.

5. Test Your Air Conditioner

Now it’s time to restore power and turn your air conditioner back on. If it’s not working correctly, reach out to us a call at 410-690-4244.

Related: Air Conditioner Service: Pay a Little Now, Save Later

3 Steps to Clean the Indoor Unit

1. Turn Off the Power

Stop the power to your furnace at the breaker box.

2. Check Your Filter

Furnace filters need to be changed every several months, depending on the type you use.

Can’t remember when you last replaced yours? Take it out and tilt it toward the light. If there’s no light visible, replace it.

3. Clean the Inside

Remove the blower door and vacuum up dust.

Then take a look at your air conditioner’s drain line—it’s a supple plastic tube. If it’s scummy, you can sanitize it by draining diluted bleach through the tube to sanitize the line. Or you can get a new tube.

Clean the drain port using a small, round paintbrush. Connect 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 Quality Refrigeration Services can make your unit more efficient and help it last longer. We also have handy service agreements, so you won’t forget to plan your regular tune-up!

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