How to Clean Your AC System Condenser Coil

In the summer, many home owners want their HVAC systems running smoothly and efficiently. No one wants a hot house in the summer which can be unbearable, and just unfortunate. The cooling system in your home is a marvelous system that has several components that help cool the air. One of those components is the outside condenser coil. The condenser coil helps remove concentrated heat throughout your home and blow it outside.

This removal process requires moving significant amounts of air. Note that it removes hot air and releases this hot air outside; therefore you don’t want anything around the condenser coil outside, because it needs a fair amount of space to do this. There are some tips to help keep your condenser coil running efficiently listed below:


As stated above, there needs to be nothing in the way of the condenser coil since there is such a release of concentrated heat. This means that the grass around the coil needs to cut regularly. There should not be any plants planted around the outside unit. The space where the outside unit is placed should not have anything above it like a trellis or a deck. The removal of the heated air needs to have an upward path and be unrestricted for at least five feet.

The coil will more than likely be covered with dust, dirt, pollen, and other things that happen over time when placed outside. If the coil becomes too compacted with dirt and debris it will not be able to function. Another thing to remember is that when you cut grass, be sure to blow off lawn clippings that could have blown into the outside condenser.

The process to clean can be lengthy, and if the condenser has not been cleaned in over two years, you might want to let a professional do it. However, if the dirt and debris is not that bad, you can do it yourself with a little know how. As stated above, when spraying off the condenser or properly cleaning it be sure to cut off the power supply. The best time to clean the outside unit is in the spring, before the extreme summer hit, that way you know that the condenser will be working properly and efficiently.

Remove access panels and take the top off the condenser

This will require the use of a screwdriver and some heavy lifting. The top of the condenser unit usually has the fan motor blade in it. This can be very heavy and you may need help with the lifting. There are fan wires connected to the top too, and you need to avoid stretching or damaging them.

Clean the fan

You can clean the fan simply by brushing off the dirt and debris with a cloth or a broom. Wipe down the blades with a cloth. There might be a need to apply a lubricant to the fan motor. Check to see if the lubricant ports need to refilled and if they do refill them.

Clean the inside

Use a broom to sweep away any dirt and debris inside. If there are leaves inside you may want to use a shop vac to suck them up and vacuum up any other noticeable debris, making sure that you are removing the dirt from the coils.

Spray the coils clean

You will need to spray the coils clean with water, however if the dirt and debris are bad compacted, you will need to purchase coil cleaner. This is just a caustic spray that should not get on your skin, so you might want to wear gloves. Let the cleaner sit for 10-15 minutes. Then spray it off, you might need to repeat this step if the dirt is bad.

Inspect the fins

If the coil fins are damaged or bent they will need to be combed straight. There is a combing brush you can purchase to comb the fins straight.

Put everything back

After the cleaning is done, all is needed is to put the condenser back together again.

Admittedly this might be a daunting task for some, so if you ever you feel that you are not suited to undergo this cleaning process, there are certified HVAC technicians willing able to help. They can get your air conditioner unit ready in no time, and on your way to cooling comfort.