As the sweltering heat of summer sets in, your air conditioning unit becomes a crucial component of your home’s comfort. Your outside AC unit is the one responsible for venting the hot air out of your home, making sure that your indoor temperature remains pleasant. However, with regular use, your AC may start to show signs of wear and tear, leading to a drop in efficiency and higher energy bills. To ensure that your unit stays in top shape for years to come, it’s crucial to perform regular servicing. In this article, we’ll guide you through the steps on how to service your outside AC unit, so you can keep your cool and dodge unnecessary expenses.

1. Introduction: Understanding the Importance of Servicing Your Outside AC Unit

As summer heats up, homeowners switch on their air conditioning systems to stay comfortable inside their homes. However, it’s essential to keep your outside AC unit in good condition for it to keep functioning efficiently. An outside AC unit works by pulling air through the condenser unit, removing the heat and returning cool air into your home. By servicing your AC unit, you can ensure it functions properly and efficiently, leading to lower energy bills and longer-lasting AC units. Here’s why it’s essential to service your outside AC unit regularly.

Benefits of Regular Servicing

  • Reduced energy bills: When your AC unit is functioning efficiently, it consumes less electricity, resulting in lower energy bills.
  • Extended lifespan: Regular servicing of your AC unit can significantly extend its lifespan.
  • Improved air quality: A well-maintained AC unit can improve the air quality inside your home by filtering out dust particles and allergens.

Despite the benefits, most homeowners often overlook the importance of outside AC unit servicing. In the following sections, we will provide a step-by-step guide for cleaning your outside AC unit, tips on DIY maintenance, and troubleshooting common AC unit problems. We will also discuss the benefits of hiring a licensed technician for professional AC servicing and the mistakes to avoid for a longer-lasting AC unit. Follow these tips and tricks, and you will be able to enjoy a cool and comfortable summer with peace of mind!

2. Step-by-Step Guide: How to Clean Your Outside AC Unit

Cleaning your outside AC unit is an essential part of AC maintenance and helps your unit run efficiently. The following is a step-by-step guide on how to clean your outside AC unit:

Step 1: Turn Off the Power

Before you start cleaning your outside AC unit, turn off the power to the unit to prevent any accidents. You can find the electrical disconnect box near your outdoor unit and turn off the power by pulling out the disconnect block or shutting off the circuit breaker.

Step 2: Remove Debris and Clear Vegetation

Remove any leaves, twigs, or debris that may have accumulated around your unit. Use a soft brush or cloth to gently clean the fins and coils of the unit. Also, clear any vegetation around the unit to ensure proper airflow around the unit.

Step 3: Clean the Fins

The fins on your AC unit can get clogged with dirt and debris over time, which can reduce their efficiency. To clean the fins, use a soft brush or vacuum with a soft brush attachment. Be careful not to bend the fins, as this can affect the airflow and efficiency of the unit.

Step 4: Clean the Coils

Like the fins, the coils on your AC unit can also collect dirt and debris, reducing the unit’s efficiency. To clean the coils, use a coil cleaner or a mixture of water and a mild detergent. Spray the solution on the coils and let it sit for a few minutes before rinsing it off with a garden hose.

Step 5: Reassemble and Turn On the Power

After cleaning the fins and coils, reassemble the unit, and turn on the power. Give the unit a few minutes to start up, and then check the airflow and temperature in your home to ensure that everything is working correctly.

Regularly cleaning your outside AC unit can help prevent costly repairs and prolong the life of your unit. By following these step-by-step instructions, you can easily clean your AC unit and ensure that it’s running efficiently.

3. DIY Maintenance: Tips for Keeping Your AC Unit Running Efficiently

Servicing your outside AC unit doesn’t always require a professional technician. Simple DIY maintenance can help you keep your AC unit running efficiently and extend its lifespan. Here are a few tips for maintaining your AC unit on your own:

Clean or Replace Air Filters Regularly

Dirty air filters can cause your AC unit to work harder than usual and reduce its longevity. It’s important to clean or replace air filters regularly every one or two months, especially during peak usage months. Locate your air filter and check its condition. If it’s dirty, use a soft-bristle brush or vacuum it to remove the dust. If it’s disposable, replace it with a new one.

Clean the Coils

The evaporator and condenser coils in your AC unit attract dirt and debris over time, which can reduce their efficiency and compromise unit performance. Clean the coils periodically using a soft brush to remove the dirt and debris from the coil fins carefully. You can also purchase specially formulated coil cleaners for thorough cleaning, but be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

Clean the Unit Exterior

The exterior of your AC unit can accumulate dirt, debris, leaves, and twigs, which can obstruct the airflow and reduce unit performance. Check the exterior of your unit regularly and clean it using a hose to remove the dirt and debris. Be mindful not to damage the unit’s delicate fins or electrical connections.

By following these simple DIY maintenance tips, you can ensure that your outside AC unit stays in good working condition and avoids premature replacements or repairs.

4. Common AC Unit Problems and How to Troubleshoot Them

If you encounter problems with your outside AC unit, it is important to troubleshoot and address them as soon as possible. Here are some .

1. AC Unit Not Cooling

If your AC unit is not cooling properly, check the thermostat first. Make sure it is set to the correct temperature and is functioning properly. If the thermostat is not the problem, it could be a dirty air filter, restricted air flow, or low refrigerant levels. Check the air filter and replace it if necessary. Check the ductwork to ensure there are no obstructions. If the refrigerant levels are low, you may need to call a licensed technician to recharge the system.

2. AC Unit Making Strange Noises

If your AC unit is making strange noises such as rattling, buzzing, or banging, it could be a sign of a mechanical problem. Turn off the unit and check for loose or damaged parts, such as fan blades or motor mounts. If you are unsure of how to fix the problem, it is best to call a licensed technician to inspect and repair the unit.

3. AC Unit Leaking Water

If your AC unit is leaking water, it could be due to a clogged condensate drain line or a dirty air filter. Check the air filter and replace it if necessary. If the problem persists, check the condensate drain line for clogs and remove any debris. If the problem continues, call a licensed technician to inspect and repair the unit.

By troubleshooting and addressing common AC unit problems, you can ensure that your unit runs efficiently and effectively, keeping you cool and comfortable during the hot summer months.

5. Professional AC Servicing: The Benefits of Hiring a Licensed Technician

While DIY maintenance can go a long way in keeping your outside AC unit in good condition, there are some tasks that require professional attention. Hiring a licensed technician can not only help you troubleshoot and fix complex AC unit problems but also provide a range of benefits that make professional servicing worthwhile.

1. Improved Unit Performance and Energy Efficiency

A licensed technician has the experience and tools to conduct a comprehensive inspection of your AC unit and identify issues that affect its performance and energy efficiency. By fixing issues like refrigerant leaks, clogged filters, and fan motor problems, a technician can help you achieve optimal AC unit performance and reduce your energy bills.

Moreover, a technician can tune up your AC unit to ensure that it operates efficiently throughout its lifespan. This can include checking and adjusting the thermostat, cleaning and lubricating the AC unit’s moving parts, and testing the refrigerant charge and voltage levels.

2. Extended AC Unit Lifespan

Regular servicing by a licensed technician can also help you extend the lifespan of your AC unit. By identifying and fixing small issues before they become major problems, a technician can reduce the likelihood of costly breakdowns, repairs, and replacement. This can save you thousands of dollars in the long run and ensure that your AC unit serves you well for many years to come.

3. Professional Guidance, Support, and Warranty Protection

A licensed technician can provide you with professional guidance and support on AC unit maintenance, troubleshooting, and repair. This can help you avoid common mistakes and make informed decisions about servicing, upgrades, and replacement. Additionally, hiring a licensed technician can ensure that your AC unit’s warranty remains valid, protecting your investment and giving you peace of mind.

Overall, professional servicing can help you optimize your AC unit’s performance, extend its lifespan, and avoid costly repairs and replacements. While DIY maintenance can be great for basic tasks, it’s always a good idea to enlist the help of a licensed technician for more complex issues and long-term benefits.

6. Top 5 AC Unit Maintenance Mistakes to Avoid for a Longer-Lasting Unit

Regular maintenance is key to keeping your outside AC unit functioning at its best. But, not all maintenance practices are created equal. Some can cause more harm than good and shorten the lifespan of your unit. Here are the top 5 AC Unit maintenance mistakes you should avoid to prolong the longevity of your system.

1. Neglecting the Air Filters

The air filters in your AC unit are responsible for capturing dust, allergens, and other particles that can compromise air quality in your home. When they become clogged, it can reduce airflow, causing your unit to work harder than it needs to. This can lead to increased wear and tear on the unit and higher energy bills. Be sure to check or replace the filters regularly, at least once every three months.

2. Skipping Yearly Professional Tune-Ups

While DIY maintenance is essential for keeping your AC unit running well, it’s essential to have a professional tune-up once a year. Professionals have specialized tools and expertise to identify potential problems before they become costly repairs. They can also tune-up the unit to operate more efficiently, leading to lower energy bills and maximum comfort.

3. Blocking the Outdoor Unit

It’s not uncommon for homeowners to block the AC unit in their garden or backyard with plants, fencing, or other objects to hide it from view. However, this can be detrimental to the unit’s performance. When the airflow is blocked, it can cause overheating, leading to mechanical failures and other issues. Always leave enough space around the unit for proper air circulation and accessibility for servicing.

4. Neglecting the Coils

The condenser and evaporator coils in your AC unit are responsible for transferring heat from inside your home to the outside. Over time, they can accumulate dirt, debris, and other contaminants, reducing their efficiency. This can result in higher energy bills and increased wear and tear on the unit. Regularly cleaning the coils can help avoid this issue.

5. Failing to Address Issues Early

Every AC unit has a lifespan, but how you take care of it can affect how long it lasts. One of the most common mistakes homeowners make is ignoring potential issues with their unit. Even minor problems can escalate and cause serious damage to your unit if not addressed soon. If you notice unusual sounds or odors, low airflow, or other issues, contact a professional service provider immediately for timely diagnosis and repair.

People Also Ask

1. How often should I service my outside AC unit?

It’s recommended to service your outside AC unit once a year, preferably before the summer season begins. However, if you notice any problems or unusual sounds, it’s essential to call for professional help immediately.

2. Can I service my outside AC unit myself?

While some tasks like cleaning and changing air filters can be done by homeowners themselves, it is not advisable to service your outside AC unit without professional knowledge and tools. It’s best to hire a licensed professional to ensure that your AC unit is maintained correctly.

3. What are the signs that indicate my outside AC unit needs servicing?

If you notice strange sounds coming from your AC unit, if it’s not cooling efficiently, or if there’s water pooling around the unit, it’s time to call for professional help. Other signs include unpleasant odors, high energy bills, and faulty thermostats.

4. What should a professional AC service include?

Professional AC service should include cleaning the condenser coils, checking for refrigerant leaks, replacing air filters and ducts, lubricating the fan motor, and inspecting the electrical components.

5. How can I maintain my outside AC unit?

To maintain your outside AC unit, make sure to keep the area around it clean and free of debris. Change the air filters every three months, keep the unit level, and check the thermostat and electrical components regularly.


Maintaining your outside AC unit is crucial for efficient cooling and energy savings. Regular servicing by a licensed professional can help identify and resolve any issues before they turn into bigger problems. Ensuring that your unit is well-maintained can prolong its lifespan and save you money in the long run.