Make Your AC Unit Last Longer

How To Clean Air Conditioner Coils

Your air conditioning unit provides climate control to your home during the summer months, but over time can become less effective due to wear and tear. The coils within your air conditioner are what remove heat from the air that passes through the unit, and allow for a cool breeze to move throughout the rooms of your home. Over time, they can become dirty, which will in turn reduce their efficiency. Thankfully, you can clean them yourself using a few simple tools to help improve the ability of your air conditioning unit to maintain the temperature within your home.

What You'll Need

Before you get started, you should gather all the tools that you'll make use of. All of these items are available at most hardware stores if they aren't already lying around your home.

You'll need a screwdriver, foaming coil cleaner (a specialized cleaning material for air conditioning units), a stiff bristled brush, a garden hose, and a fin brush (a specialized maintenance tool for air conditioners).

The foaming coil cleaner comes in two variants: standard and no-rinse. For window units, you'll want a no-rinse cleaner, as you won't be able to use your hose indoors.

Cleaning Air Conditioner Coils

First, unscrew the panel on the side of your air conditioning unit using the screwdriver, leaving the screws in a safe location so that you won't lose them.

Remove any debris that may be attached to your coils, like dirt or cobwebs, by hand, and then use the stiff bristled brush to knock off any remaining debris. Avoid using too much pressure or scrubbing, as this can cause the coils to bend out of shape.

Once you have removed as much debris as possible, check to see that all the coils are straight and aligned. If any are bent out of place, you can use the fin brush to straighten them. Simply run the brush along the edge of the fin so that it is bent back into shape. However, if the coils all seem to be straight and aligned, you can simply move on.

Apply the foaming coil cleaner to the coils. It should begin to expand immediately, and work to break down dirt and grime which may be stuck on the fins. You'll want to let it sit for around ten minutes, and then rinse the unit off with the hose. For non-rinse cleaner, you can simply let it sit until it dissolves itself. Once the cleaner has been cleared away, you can use the screwdriver to put the panel back over the fins and continue using your air conditioner as intended. 

For more information, talk to a professional like Kassel Appliance & AC Repair.