There aren't many things more frustrating than an air conditioning that refuses to run. A hot, muggy home can make your space incredibly uncomfortable, which is why I have always focused on maintaining my air conditioning system. Unfortunately, I still run into problems from time to time and I am sure that all of you do, which is one of the reasons I decided to build this website. Check out these posts for more information about keeping your system working beautifully, even if you aren't naturally good at fixing things. You never know, making the right changes could dramatically improve your summertime experience.
The condenser coils on a central air conditioner take in refrigerant from the compressor then change the refrigerant into a liquid to send inside and finish the cooling process. If the condenser coils become dirty, the phase change can become compromised and your unit will lose efficiency.
You can clean the coils yourself using a commercial coil cleaner available at most hardware stores. If you want to make sure your entire unit is properly cleaned and calibrated, call an HVAC repair company, such as Soco Air Conditioning, for a checkup.
What You Need:
Step 1: Access the Coils
Turn off the power to the condensing unit using the circuit breaker inside your home or the fuse box on the outside wall near the unit.
Depending on the layout of your unit, you might need to move the condenser blower fan and its assembly out of the way before you clean the coils. Moving the fan will protect the motor from the cleaner and follow-up rinsing water. Consult your owner's manual if you are unsure whether you should move the fan in your unit.
If you do need to move the fan, locate the grated fan cover on top of your condenser unit. Use a screwdriver to remove the screws attaching the cover to the unit. Lift up to remove the fan cover and its attached fan assembly; note that there are attached wires so you don't want to pull it sharply up or completely away from the unit. Turn over the assembly so that the grate sits on top of the condensing unit but is still out of your way when accessing the condenser coils.
Use your screwdriver to remove the fasteners on the access panel covering the coils. Remove the panel and set it aside.
Step 2: Clean the Coils
Spray an even, thin coat of coil cleaner onto the outside of the coils – meaning the side of the coils closest to you, not the interior of the condenser unit. Allow the cleaner to sit for at least 10 minutes or according to package directions.
Turn your garden hose on; then, rinse the coils from the inside of the unit pointing out. Try to keep the water from going down into the condensing unit as much as possible.
Replace the access panel and tighten the screws to secure. Flip the fan guard assembly back over and into its place then fasten its screws to reattach it. Restore the power supply to your air conditioning unit.