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How to Clean Coils on AC Unit: A Simple Guide

How to Clean Coils on AC Unit

How to Clean Coils on AC Unit: A Simple Guide

Summer heat creeping in, will get you thinking about how to clean coils on AC unit to ready your AC for this fight. Dust and dirt can accumulate on these coils, thus making your AC system work much harder than necessary, resulting in higher bills. The good news? 

Cleaning your AC coils is doable, and it’ll keep your unit running smoothly all season long. In this post, we’ll walk you through exactly how to clean coils AC, step by step. Easy peasy!

How to Clean Coils on AC Unit

Learning how to clean coils on AC unit is simple yet one of the best things you can do to ensure the proper functioning of your system. It will help you have more comfort in your home, lower your energy consumption, and prolong the life of your central AC unit.

Wondering if you can clean coils on air conditioner yourself? 

Absolutely! We are here to guide you through how to clean coils on AC unit process. If cleaning doesn’t solve your AC troubles, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered there too. But before that, let’s dive into the types of AC coils! 

  1. Condenser Coils: The outdoor condenser coils are the ones you’re probably familiar with – the big metal box outside your house. 
  2. Evaporator Coils: Inside the house, there should be the evaporator coils which are near the furnace.

These coils gather grime and dirt after a while, which in turn reduces the efficiency of your AC. This often results in higher energy bills and not such a cozy home. But, is it necessary to know how to clean coils on AC unit? Let’s find out!

How to Clean Coils on AC Unit

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Why It’s Important to Clean Air Conditioner Coils?

Your air conditioner relies on clean coils to efficiently cool your home. Dust, grime, and all manner of dirt can accumulate on these clean coils AC, making them work harder and ineffectively. This translates to higher energy bills, less cool air, and potential breakdowns.

The benefits of learning how to clean coils on AC unit:

  • Improved efficiency: Clean coils ensure that your AC system runs as it should, thus saving on energy bills.
  • Enhanced comfort: Clean coils on air conditioner ensure your AC cools your home effectively, keeping you nice and comfortable during hot summers.
  • Extended system lifespan: Clean coils translate into the elongated service life of your AC system, thus saving you money on repairs and replacements.

To enjoy these benefits, it is a good idea to clean your AC coils at least once a year, preferably. This can be a DIY how to clean coils on AC unit project or you can leave it to a pro. Good servicing of your coils will prevent the AC system from wearing out, lead to your cooling comfort, and spend less on repairs.

When to Clean Air Conditioner Coils?

Just like any other appliance that is frequently used, your AC unit demands proper care to run smoothly. Cleaning your AC coils regularly is one of the most important things you can do to ensure they run at their best.

But how often should you clean coils on air conditioner?
Well, it depends on your situation.

Here’s a quick guide to when and how to clean coils on AC unit:

  • Yearly cleaning: This is a good baseline for most homes. Aim for spring cleaning, before the summer heat hits.
  • Extra cleanings: If you have pets and live in a dusty place where the filters are clogged frequently, increase the intervals between cleanings.

In any case, if you’re not comfortable cleaning them yourself, don’t hesitate to call a professional.

What Is the Best Way to Clean AC Coils?

Cleaning your AC coils isn’t a one-size-fits-all task. But if you’re up for it, here’s a simple guide!

How to Clean Coils on AC Unit Outside

Here’s how to clean condenser coil air conditioner and give them a good scrub:

  1. Turn off the power: 

Locate the electrical breaker that controls your AC unit and turn it off. Turning it off at the thermostat won’t cut the electricity.

  1. Open the unit: 

Find the clean condenser coil air conditioner unit outside and remove the top and side covers with a screwdriver. You can also take the condenser fan assembly off if you’re comfortable doing so.

  1. Quick inspection: 

While it is opened, inspect the inside for any major concerns such as broken wires or leaking piping. Call a professional if you see anything concerning during the process of how to clean coils on AC unit.

  1. Clear debris: 

Put on gloves and remove any large pieces of debris such as leaves, sticks, or rocks from the filter or from inside the unit.

  1. Vacuum and straighten: 

Use a shop vacuum to clean out the remaining debris. Then, carefully straighten any bent fins on the heat exchanger with a fin comb.

  1. Clean the outside grille: 

Remove any leaves or debris stuck between the outside grille and the fins.

  1. Apply cleaner: 

Apply a thick coat of foaming coil cleaner on all sides of the cabinet inside the unit. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes.

  1. Rinse thoroughly: 

The eighth step on how to clean coils on AC unit outside is to use a garden hose with a sprayer attachment to rinse the cleaner and debris out of the unit from the inside out. Use a wide spray to avoid damaging the fins.

  1. Rinse the outside: 

Once you’ve rinsed the inside, use the hose to spray down the outside of the unit to remove any dislodged debris. Be careful not to spray directly into the unit.

  1. Reassemble and dry: 

Leave the unit open and powered off until it’s completely dry. Then, put everything back together and turn the power back on. To keep your AC running smoothly, trim nearby trees and consider adding a mesh leaf guard on top of the unit.

How to Clean Coils on AC Unit Inside 

  1. Safety First!

Turn off the A/C power completely at the breaker box before touching anything.

  1. Finding the Coils:

Look for an access panel indoors, usually on the supply side of your A/C system. It will likely have screws holding it shut. Open it up!

  1. Inspecting the Mess:

The evaporator coil will look like an “A” shape. The grime is probably worst on the inside.

  1. Gentle Cleaning:

Use a soft nylon brush to clean the fins in the direction they run (up and down, not across!). Brush away dirt and let it fall to the bottom during this step on how to clean coils on AC unit inside. You can suck up the debris with a shop vac to avoid making a mess.

  1. Fixing Bends:

If any fins get bent, carefully use a fin comb to straighten them out.

  1. Chemical Cleaning (Optional):

You can use a special spray foam cleaner designed for evaporator coils. Follow the instructions for application time.

  1. Light Rinse (Be Careful!):

Unlike outside condenser coils, you can’t drench these with water. Gently rinse with a spray bottle, avoiding a heavy stream. Use a wet shop vac to remove any excess water.

  1. Patience is Key:

Taking your time when it comes to how to clean coils on AC unit inside is essential. It’s better to do multiple light cleanings than try to blast everything off at once since too much water can damage the system.

  1. Drying Out:

Leave the access panel open for a while to let the coils dry completely before closing it up.

  1. Power Up!

Once everything is dry, put the access panel back on and turn the A/C system back on at the breaker box. Enjoy the cool air!

If our guide on how to clean coils on AC unit seems complicated, don’t hesitate to call a professional. They have a team of experts well equipped to clean any type of AC unit most safely and efficiently possible.

How to Clean Coils on AC Unit

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Schedule a Professional Cleaning With the Experts!

A happy AC starts with keeping your air conditioner’s coils clean! Follow these simple steps to know how to clean coils on AC unit yourself. Consider getting a professional to do a deep clean every now and then to keep your system running smoothly all season long.

Don’t suffer through another scorching day! Here at 24SevenAC, our AC repair crew is here to help you how to clean coils on AC unit. We’ve been keeping homes cool for years, and our experts can diagnose any problem your AC might have. We’ll get your unit running smoothly again so you can relax in air-conditioned comfort. Call us today to schedule an appointment and don’t wait for the heat!


How Often Should You Maintenance Your AC?

Generally, once a year is good for most climates. If your area gets really dusty or you use your AC a lot, then twice a year might be better.

Is Ac Maintenance Necessary?

Yes, it definitely is! Regular maintenance keeps your AC running smoothly, saving you money on energy bills and preventing expensive repairs down the road.

How Long Does AC Maintenance Take?

Typically, AC maintenance takes around 1-2 hours. It depends on the technician, but it’s usually a quick process.

How Often Should You Clean Your AC Coils?

Once a year is a good rule of thumb for cleaning the coils. If you live in a dusty area or use your AC a lot, you might want to clean coils on air conditioner more often, maybe every 3 months.

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