How to Clean AC Condenser Coils

18 August 2016
 Categories: , Blog

If it seems like it is getting harder and harder to cool down your home, there could be an issue with your air conditioner. More specifically, there could be a problem with your AC condenser unit. This unit, which sits on the outside of your home, is often just referred to as the air conditioner. The condenser is responsible for transferring heat out of your home and also for drying heat away from the fan. Perhaps the most vital element of a normal condenser unit is the coil system. This article explains how to effectively clean your condenser coils.

What and Where Are the Coils

The coils are also the most vulnerable and fragile part of the unit because they are exposed to the elements. They line the exterior walls of the condenser unit. In actuality, you cannot see the coils because they are protected by a sheet of aluminum. This aluminum sheet is lined with ridges, which professionals call fins. The space between each little fin is likely to get filled with dirt and dust over the years. This is to be expected, especially if the ground around the condenser is dry and dusty. As long as you regularly clean your fins, dirt should not cause too much of a problem. But, if there is serious buildup in your fins, it might be very annoying to try to get all the dirt out.

Cleaning the Coils

The first step in removing stubborn dirt is to spray down the aluminum with a hose. Then, spray on condenser cleaning liquid. This liquid is available at most home-improvement and HVAC stores. Follow the instructions to see how long you should leave the cleaner on the coils before spraying it off. You want to use a powerful stream of water. However, a pressure washer might be too powerful. It could actually bend the fins and make them even less effective. You probably won't be able to get all of the dirt out on the first go, so repeat the steps at least twice or until the water running out of the unit is clean and clear.

This is a simple maintenance that you should do on a regular basis. Unless you live in an especially windy and dry environment, you won't need to do this more than once a year. It is always a good idea to inspect your fins to make sure they look clean before the summer hits.

For more help, visit sites such as to find an HVAC contractor in your area.