This AC Maintenance Tip Will Keep You Cool All Summer (and Save You Money!)

published Jun 8, 2024
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Heating and air conditioning inverter on the side of a house
Credit: Christian Delbert/Shutterstock

Summer is around the corner, and it looks like it’s going to be a hot one. So if you’ve got a whole-house air conditioner, now is the time to ensure it’s working in top condition. 

In this TikTok video, user @bestlifewichita shares what they say is the best thing you can do for your AC to help it run smoothly and ensure you’re cool all summer long: Clean out all of its coils before it gets warm outside

To clean AC coils yourself, take off the outside cover and grab a hose. Place it inside the unit starting at the top and spray water outwards and down through the coils on the sides of the machine. The force from the hose will push out all of the dust and dirt accumulated in your air conditioner, leaving the coils free to work their best.

Patrick Garner, the heating engineer at Heatable, says this method of cleaning your air conditioning unit can absolutely work — as long as you’re using the right materials. “Cleaning the coils as shown in the video can be effective, provided the right tools and cleaners are used,” he says. “It’s crucial to use a coil cleaner specifically designed for AC units and to be gentle to avoid damaging the delicate fins.”

Cleaning your coils this way will definitely save you money, however Garner recommends that the best you can do for your air conditioner in the long run is to get it serviced professionally annually. 

An HVAC professional can do a comprehensive checkup, including “thorough cleaning, checking refrigerant levels, inspecting electrical connections, and ensuring all components are working correctly,” Garner says. This approach will ensure “peak efficiency and prevent small issues from becoming costly repairs.”

If you do choose to clean your AC unit like in the TikTok video, be certain to clean up the area around the base of it afterwards. Any debris around the base can restrict airflow.