tools for an air conditioner service

Tips for Cleaning Your AC System in Franklin Lakes

With summer winding down in Franklin Lakes, now is an ideal time to get a head start on air conditioner maintenance.

If you haven’t taken care of it lately, it could be full of dirt and yard waste. This collection can decrease your unit’s efficiency and cause it to stop working. Or wear it down more quickly.

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

Consistent AC maintenance also helps our technicians discover and address small issues before they become high-priced problems.

Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner from Failing

Some of the work we do involves:

  • Inspecting the blower, motor, drain line and coils
  • Confirming pressure and temperature
  • Reviewing lines, refrigerant amounts and connections

It’s not too late to have service done this fall—and we can get your furnace prepped 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 get the grime off your outdoor condenser unit, as well as a couple of parts 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 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 few tools:

  • 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

Remove rubbish from the system. This includes branches, bushes, weeds and grass.

Then run the vacuum to gently clean the metallic fins. These components are also known as condenser coils and move heat away from your system.

You need to be considerate of these fine coils. Misshapen or crushed fins can influence efficiency.

3. Fix Bent Fins

Use a butter knife to straighten warped fins. You can also use a fin comb from an appliance parts website. A pro from Total Comfort should fix severe damage.

4. Clean the Inside

After removing the fan, fish out leaves and other yard litter. Then mop the inside of the system with a wet cloth.

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

5. Test Your Air Conditioner

You can now restore power and turn your air conditioner back on. If it’s not running like it should, contact us a call at 201-268-5663.

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 must be replaced every couple of months, depending on the type you use.

Unsure when you last replaced yours? Remove it and angle it toward the light. If there’s no light visible, buy 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 pliable plastic tube. If it’s scummy, you can sanitize it by draining diluted bleach through the tube to flush the line. Or you can get a new tube.

Scrub the drain port using a small, round paintbrush. Reconnect 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 Total Comfort can make your system more efficient and help it last longer. We also provide practical service agreements, so you won’t forget to schedule your annual maintenance!

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