By: Mrs. Phipps
Image by ActiveSteve A clean air conditioning unit is a well-functioning, efficient air conditioner. Therefore, keeping the coils clean should be made part of your seasonal maintenance once it warms up each spring. This will help keep your unit running smoothly. If too much dirt and grime is permitted to build up on the coils in your system, the unit will not cool as efficiently. While in some cases it may be necessary to call in a professional, homeowners can oftentimes clean air conditioner coils on their own.
Air Conditioner Coil Cleaning
Before cleaning air conditioner coils, you may need to determine what type of unit you have, as most but not all are split systems. All units, however, will consist of two coil types: the evaporator coils (also known as an A-coil) and the condenser coils. The evaporator coils are found indoors within the furnace while the condenser coils can be found in the outdoor unit.
Note: Occasionally you may find both coil types in a single outdoor unit.
Air Conditioner Coil Cleaners
You will usually need a coil cleaner whenever you begin cleaning the coils in your unit. Water alone does not get the job done. These specialized air conditioner coil cleaners are normally available through local HVAC or plumbing suppliers.
There are specific cleaners for each coil type, though in some cases you may come across a cleaner targeted for both. Typically, however, you’ll use a non-foaming coil cleaner on the evaporator (indoors) and a high-foaming coil cleaner on the condenser (outdoors).
Evaporator Air Conditioner Coil Cleaning
Before you begin, make sure the power is turned off. Then, carefully remove the access panel to your furnace. The evaporator should look like the letter “A.” Gently vacuum any dust from the coils. You can also use a fine comb or soft brush to remove dirt buildup but take care not to bend the fins.
While you’re inside the unit, you can also clean the condensation tray below with a solution of 1 part bleach to 10 parts water, which will take care of both germs and odors.
Then, follow the directions for mixing the non-foaming cleaner and spray the coils until well saturated.
Note: You’ll want to open your windows prior to spraying the coils. Replace the cover, restore power and turn on the air conditioning, allowing it to run for about thirty minutes to flush the cleaner from the coils.
Air Conditioner Condenser Coil Cleaning
You should also clean your condenser coils. Prior to performing air conditioner condenser coil cleaning, cut off the power source. Follow the directions for mixing the foam cleaner and spray the coils from the outside. Let this soak for fifteen to twenty minutes while you remove the top of the outdoor unit. Then, spray the coils with a water hose from the inside out until the water runs clear.
If necessary, you may need to use a soft brush to remove dirt and debris. Replace the top and restore power.
In addition to cleaning the air conditioner coils, you should also clear away any debris or buildup found in the base pan beneath the unit. It also helps to keep the area around your outdoor unit free of grass or weed growth.Print This Article