An air conditioning unit’s condenser coils are the hot surface of its cooling system. As cold water flows down the coil, it evaporates. This heat is then transferred to the coolant, which circulates through a heat exchanger and back to you, keeping you comfortable on sweltering summer days. Because they are such an important part of your A/C unit, it’s important that they’re always properly cleaned and maintained. How can you clean your condenser coils?
Cleaning the condenser coils is one of the most important things you’ll ever do for your unit. A dirty evaporator coil can cause major problems such as a clogged line and ruined gaskets. The petrochemical oils in the oil and grease from your hand will build up on the coil and block it. In addition, if you don’t wash it every so often, dust, dirt, and other debris can accumulate on it, leading to premature failure of the refrigerant lines.
First, unscrew the air conditioning compressor cap and disconnect the electric or gas supply. Turn off any other electrical appliances as well. Next, take off the back panel of your A/C to get to the condenser coils. Unscrew the three screws that hold it in place, then pry up on it from inside. Be careful not to damage wires or hoses if you’re not replacing them.
It will be rather hard to clean the condensate coils by hand. So, it’s better to use a garden hose with a nozzle spray attachment or brush attachment.
Hose all the dust, dirt, leaf litter, and other debris from the condenser coils and dispose of it carefully at least five hundred feet away from your house. Use this opportunity to wash off your A/C unit, clean the inside of the unit thoroughly and remove any excess dirt, dust, or leaves.
Always wear eye protection when working on your air conditioner. Also, take extreme care not to damage the compressor coil fins or compressor fins when cleaning your air conditioner with a hose. You’ll have to replace the whole coil if you accidentally damage them.
Let all the parts sit for a few hours before drying them completely or reassembling them. This will give any moisture from your hose a chance to evaporate out of the unit.
Cleaning the condenser coils is one of the most important things you’ll ever do for your unit. With regular upkeep, in a typical summer, you may have to clean them only once. However, you may have to do it more frequently if you live in a very humid area or have hard water.
When cleaning your A/C unit’s condensate coils with a garden hose, be sure not to damage the compressor coil fins or compressor fins with high-pressure water. If you do, you’ll have to replace the whole compressor coil.
Be sure to leave at least five hours before reassembling your A/C. This will allow any moisture from the hose a chance to evaporate out of the unit and also allow you to wash off any debris from the coil.
Cleaning your A/C condensate coils with a garden hose will not make them last forever – but it will help extend their life. Cleaning your evaporator coils on an HVAC system with a garden hose is not the end. In most cases, you will likely be able to clean them once a year or even less.
The best way to do this is to hose the coils off, ensuring the water flow is very even across the surface area of the coils. They will not look perfect when you’re done, but better than they would otherwise be.
After hosing them down, let them sit until they are completely dry. If you don’t, your HVAC system could create moisture that freezes on the coils and damages them. Garden hoses have a lot of pressure behind them. They can cause damage to an air conditioner condenser, so be sure to protect the fins from being damaged by using a nozzle attachment or even a broomstick in some cases.
As a rule, air conditioners will last about 18 to 24 months before needing to be replaced. They all have various industries that they serve and a variety of chemicals and parts that are used within their systems. They are generally not the best investments because they cost more to operate than other heating or cooling systems. A less expensive but still functional unit can be found at a local department store for much less than a new A/C system would cost.
In conclusion, you can clean your air conditioner condenser coils. However, it’s better to have a professional do this for you. It can be done, but there is a good chance you will damage the fins and need to buy a new unit. This is not cost-effective in the long run and is generally not something you want to try on your own. Your best bet is to call a professional air conditioning technician and get them to clean your air conditioning condenser coils.