Cleaning the A/C Condenser Unit

Posted by on 8/19/2018 to Articles

As the weather warms it is time to service the A/C system to insure the system will run correctly throughout the season. The A/C condensing needs regular maintenance to keep it running at peak performance as does the rest of the components of a split A/C unit. If the condensing unit is clogged with dirt or if the fins have been bent, it will block the flow of air through the coil interfering with exchange heat in the condenser. If blocked it will cause your system to work harder and will increase your energy consumption costing you more money.


Check for bent A/C Condenser Coil Fins


This should be the first item that checked before cleaning the condenser. All the fins should be inspected and straighten. A tool called a fin comb will be able to do the job. Take the fin comb and do just what the name implies comb and straighten the fins. This will need to be done gently because the fins are very thin and can easily be torn. It is important to make this your first step because you will not be able to properly clean the condenser if not done; any bent fins will keep you from cleaning the condenser properly which are very important.


Look Inside the Condenser Unit


Take a look down through the top of the unit where the fan is located on the condenser. When you look down through the top you might see a buildup of leaves or maybe straw that have made their way to the bottom of the unit. You will need to remove the top which is attached by a few screws that can easily be removed. After the fan and top have been removed carefully take a shop vacuum and clean out the leaves and or straw. After everything has been removed replace the top of the top of the unit.


A/C Condenser Coil Cleaning Steps


Be sure to shut off the electrical power to the unit before you begin to clean the condenser. You can do this by disconnecting the power source at the unit this can be found mounted next to your unit. If there is no shut-off located next to the unit, you may need to shut off the power at the electrical panel. This will prevent he unit and fan from running during the cleaning stage.


  • Pull a water hose close to the unit.
  • Mix the coil cleaner in a small pump sprayer as the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Spray the coil cleaner onto the fins and coils.
  • Wait a few minutes for the cleaner to foam.
  • Wash off the cleaner and dirt off with a water hose.
  • If necessary, repeat the process again.


After you have cleaned the A/C condenser you will need to check the fins again to see if were bent during the cleaning process. Repair any bent fins and you have completed. Cleaning your condenser is an important step this will insure your system will operate at peak performance.

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