Most annual AC maintenance tasks should be performed only by a trained HVAC technician. However, there’s one task that many pros recommend you do yourself: cleaning your condenser coils. What do the coils do? How often do they need to be cleaned and how can you tell when it’s time to clean them? Here’s a brief guide on how to clean AC condenser coils.
What Is a Condenser Coil?
Your condenser coil is part of your outdoor AC unit, which takes the heat from your indoor air and releases it outside. Since the unit is outdoors, over time, dirt and other debris can build up in it, along with exhaust from passing cars. This grime coats the coils and impedes the transfer of heat, making your system operate less efficiently.
Most coils only need to be cleaned once a year. Your HVAC technician can do it during your annual tuneup. However, if the unit is in a particularly dirty area or there’s heavy traffic, it may need cleaning more often, which is why knowing how to clean AC condenser coils is important.
If the air from your vents feels warmer than it should, the system is running longer than usual. If you’ve simply noticed an uptick in your energy bills, it could be a sign that your condenser coil is too dirty. If you see a significant buildup of dirt on and around the unit, it’s time to give it a good cleaning.
How to Clean AC Condenser Coils
First, shut off power to the system. Use a soft brush and gently remove dirt and debris from the fins. Be careful to not bend them. If any are bent or misshapen, straighten them using a fin brush. Some say you can use a butter knife, but we recommend the specialty tool. A knife can cause damage if you insert it too far.
Spray the coil gently with a hose to dislodge any dirt. Then, spray back and forth all over with a foaming coil cleaner. Let stand for 10 minutes, then rinse the foam away with the hose.
To learn more about how to clean AC condenser coils, contact us at Detmer and Sons. Dayton’s home-comfort needs are our top priority.