If you have a central AC unit inside your home, you’re probably aware it contains two crucial components: an indoor and outdoor unit. The indoor unit, known as the “air handler,” is responsible for keeping your indoor spaces cool.
During the cooling process, the air handler pushes the hot air that it has collected from inside your home to the outdoor unit. From here, the outdoor unit expels the hot air outdoors. As a homeowner, it’s important to ensure this outdoor unit remains free of dirt and debris.
Fortunately, you can clean your air conditioner coils yourself. Common cleaning methods include rinsing the coils with a garden hose, using a commercial coil cleaner, and applying condensed air.
We’ll discuss how to clean air conditioner coils in more detail below. But first, it’s important to know why you should clean these coils regularly. After all, there’s a reason why many HVAC technicians stress the importance of keeping your condenser unit as clean as possible.
So, Why Clean AC Coils?
When cleaning air conditioner coils, it’s crucial to realize that you’re doing a lot of good — not only for your comfort but for your wallet. Having a clean condenser unit will allow your air conditioning system to run as efficiently as possible. If you have an efficient cooling system, you’ll be able to keep cool while wasting less energy. There’s a chance you can save money on your energy bills.
Keeping the coils clean can also help you avoid scheduling a Nassau County HVAC repair later down the road. When you keep up with the needs of your HVAC system, you can lower the number of service calls you make — which can save you a great deal of money and frustration.
Cleaning Your AC Coils
If you want to learn how to clean air conditioner coils, it’s important to know that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. You have free rein to pick and choose which methods you use; it all depends on what you’re comfortable with.
First, you’ll want to head outside and ensure you know how to access the AC coils. In most cases, the coils will be hidden behind an access panel. Before you remove this panel and get to work, remember to turn off your air conditioner as a safety precaution.
Without wasting another moment, let’s dive into some cleaning tips!
Check for Debris
Now that you’ve removed the access panel and shut off your AC, it’s time to see what you’re dealing with. Check for debris on the coils, such as leaves, dirt, and twigs. You can quickly remove larger pieces with your hands, such as the leaves.
When cleaning air conditioner coils, you’ll also want to take steps to ensure that this dirt and debris you’re removing doesn’t somehow wind up back inside the coils later on. Collect this debris in a bucket or box so that you can properly dispose of it.
Grab a Hose
Now that you’ve removed the larger obstructions with your hands, you can rinse the coils with a garden hose. In most cases, you’ll want to spray the water from the inside of the unit outwards. This method will allow you to blast the debris out and away from the coils.
Try Compressed Air
You never know what you’ll encounter when cleaning air conditioner coils. If the coils aren’t as dirty as you thought they would be, you might simply choose to give them a quick cleaning with compressed air. This method is excellent at removing smaller particles of dirt and debris.
Use a Brush
If you have an insignificant amount of dirt on the coils, you can try using a soft brush to remove it. Move the brush in both directions — horizontally and vertically — to ensure that all debris is removed.
Of course, you’ll want to be careful when using a brush — you don’t want to accidentally damage the fins in the process. When learning how to clean air conditioner coils, it’s crucial to keep caution in mind. The last thing you want to do is create a larger mess than you started with!
Use Cleaner Spray
You can purchase a cleaner spray to help remove pesky debris. In most cases, you’ll need to spray the cleaning solution on the coils and let it sit for a few minutes. The solution will start to foam and extract any debris that has become deep-rooted in the coils. However, these commercial cleaners will come with their own set of instructions, so remember to consult the user’s manual.
If you don’t want to buy a coil cleaner spray, mixing mild detergent with warm water can be another method for cleaning the coils. You can use this mixture the same way you would the cleaning solution; all you need to do is put it in a spray bottle.
Reposition Bent Fins
Now that you’ve finished cleaning your air conditioner, you can take additional steps to ensure that the unit is in peak condition. One task you can try — although it’s certainly not required — is fixing any bent fins with a fin brush.
You will need to remove the fan and grille so that you have complete access to the fins. Once you finish this step, insert the fin brush between the fins and move upward. You’ll want to be incredibly delicate during this process; it can be fairly easy to damage the fins if you’re not careful.
How Often Should AC Coils Be Cleaned?
When learning how to clean air conditioner coils, you might want to know how often you should perform this sort of task. All-in-all, it’s a good idea to clean the coils once every year. Of course, you might want to consider performing this maintenance on a more frequent basis if your air conditioner unit is located near a lot of foliage or you notice a lot of dust and wind.
Turn to Gold Star for AC Services You Can Trust
Cleaning air conditioner coils on a regular basis is crucial to the overall performance of your cooling system. This outdoor unit plays an important role in the heat transfer process and makes it possible to remove any unwanted warm air from your home.
If you don’t feel comfortable performing this maintenance task by yourself, get in touch with Gold Star Plumbing, Heating & Cooling. Our Nassau County HVAC technicians are here to help keep your home comfortable, no matter your needs. Contact us to schedule a service today!