How to Clean Your Air Conditioner’s Coils

Nothing is better than coming home to a comfortable and warm apartment on a hot day. It’s been this way for many years, but sometimes the air conditioner doesn’t work the way you want it to. This is likely because the coils are dirty and need to be cleaned. Coils can get dirty for various reasons, including being covered in dust or pet hair or not properly maintained. Cleaning the coils is a quick and easy process that can help your air conditioner run more efficiently. This blog post will show you how to clean air conditioner coils using a few simple steps. Feel free to check out 5 DIY ways to clean your AC too.

Before asking yourself, “how do I clean the coils on my ac unit?” Let us first get into the two important ac coils and better understand what and how they function.

The Two AC Coils

The evaporator coil, which is found inside the blower compartment or air handler, is where the compressor transports the chilled refrigerant. The cool refrigerant absorbs heat from the air in your home as it passes over the coil with the help of the blower fan. The dirt from the evaporator coils usually comes from inside, like pet furs, dust, and hair.

The part of your air conditioner that moves heat from one medium to another is a condenser coil which is at the outdoor unit. This enables an air conditioner to draw heat from the outside and release it inside the condenser coil.

Now that you already have a basic idea about the different air conditioner coils you need regularly clean, let us get into how you clean your ac coils.

Note: Before starting anything, make sure you shut off all the power

You, Will, Need the Following:

In order to clean evaporator and condenser coils, you will need the following

  • Cordless drill
  • Nylon scrub brush
  • Flashlight
  • Garden hose
  • Sprayer
  • Bucket
  • Gloves
  • Shop vacuum
  • Vacuum extension wand
  • Water spray bottle
  • Screwdriver
  • Fin repair comb

How to Clean Air Conditioner Condenser Coils

Locate the AC Condenser Coils

The condenser unit is usually situated outside, on the other side of the wall from the electric service panel.

Disable Electric Breaker

Before doing anything, for your safety, make sure you turn the part of the breaker that connects to your air conditioner off. If your home’s breaker is not able to only specifically turn off the ac unit, then you might have to shut off all of your house’s power.

Remove Side and Top Condenser Covers

This would be the time to take out your screwdrivers. Remove the screws from the protective cover on the top and the sides. Make sure you secure the screws properly as you still need this once you finish cleaning.

Unscrew the Condenser Fan Assembly From Unit

This step is only applicable if your condenser coil model makes removing the fan and the motor easy. If done incorrectly, this step can cause a lot of damage to your air conditioner coils; hence, if you are not confident, it is best to skip this step.

Inspect the Inside of the AC Unit

While the unit is open, this would be an excellent opportunity to inspect the condition of the unit inside the cabinet for obvious faults such as loose wires, cracked or broken pipes or advanced rust. If you notice these things inside your air conditioner, then it is best to call a professional to get this repaired.

Remove Debris

There is a lot of dirt and debris at the bottom that you can easily take out by hand. Wear protective gloves and remove the larger debris that you can find, such as leaves, barks, dirt, or pebbles. Put the debris in the bucket and the compost bin at your residence for the biodegradable items.


Use a vacuum with a soft brush extension to vacuum out the remaining debris, usually at the bottom of your ac cabinet.

Fix the Fins

The condenser coil’s fragile metal fins are readily rearranged. Crushed fins may be straightened up in tiny patches with the metal-tipped fin comb. Move the tool up and down like you would comb your hair, while putting the comb’s tines in the fins to fix the bent fins. This step can help to improve the heat transfer process.

Clean Protective Grills

There might be debris that can get stuck between the protective grills and the aluminium fins. Here, leaves frequently become entrapped and need to be manually removed. You can tell if the fins on your ac coils are clean by shining a flashlight inside. If you point it from the outside towards what’s inside, then as long as there isn’t any dust or other things blocking light from them (which would give an opposite effect), this should be enough for us to see how okay they look!

Use Foam Coil Cleaner

On the interior of the cabinet, spritz foamy AC coil cleaner. Apply a generous layer of the cleaner to the cabinet’s four sides, pushing it through the fins and into the fins themselves. Avoid touching the fins. Let the water and the foaming coil cleaning do the work. Avoid making direct physical contact with the coils and fins as much as you can.

Spray Water

Wait five to ten minutes before proceeding to this step. Use the garden hose’s sprayer attachment or a spray bottle to spray water from the inside out. To prevent harming the fins, keep the spray on broadly. Start at the top and work your way down one side. Before going on to the next side, finish the current side.

Spray Outside with Water

Use a fine/wide mist to hose off any debris from the fins and coils gently. Be careful not to direct water inward, as this may cause more dirt or sand into your finicky details!

How to Clean Air Conditioner Evaporator Coils

Locate the AC Condenser Coils

The evaporator coils are found inside the air conditioning system. There are usually two of them behind an access door on the supply side, so don’t forget about those when you take off your glove for some maintenance work.

Check and Arrange the Coils

The inner portion of the assembly, shaped like an “A,” will be the dirtier side of the evaporator coils.

The aluminium fins on your air conditioner’s evaporator coils are delicate, so you should brush them in a direction that will not damage or jostle the metal. Start at the top and work downward while not touching any other part of it with nylon bristles (you might scratch something!). Vacuum up all debris when finished brushing for an even easier cleanup process!

Fix the Fins

The evaporator coil’s fragile metal fins are readily rearranged. Flattened fins may be straightened up in tiny patches with the metal-tipped fin comb. Move the tool up and down while putting the comb’s tines in the fins.

Use Foam Coil Cleaner and Rinse

On the interior of the cabinet, spritz foamy AC evaporator coils cleaner. Apply a generous layer of the cleaner to the cabinet’s four sides, pushing it through the fins and into the fins themselves. Avoid touching the fins. Let the water and the foaming coil cleaning do the work. Avoid making direct physical contact with the coils and fins as much as you can.

After about five minutes, carefully rinse down the coils with clean water in a spray bottle. Be careful not to apply too much force when wiping off excess moisture from previous coats of paint or other materials on your home’s exterior; this can lead to scratching! Once everything has been cleaned appropriately and thoroughly dried out before continuing towards finishing touches like applying waxes etc.

Evaporator coils can’t be soaked like how condenser coils can.


Once you have thoroughly cleaned your air conditioner coils, you can now reassemble your air conditioner back.

When you are done with your repairs, leave the access door open until the coils have dried properly. Close it up and turn it off at the breaker box before leaving for work or school.

Why you Should Clean AC Coils

The condenser fan and compressors work increasingly harder just to output the same amount of cool air, but when they’re dirty, it’s like trying to push against an invisible wall. Cleaning your coils will restore them back up so that you can enjoy a full-capacity cooling efficiency from the start! In order to maintain the temperature set-point, the system must cycle on more frequently due to dirty coils. The continual pull of hot air from home by the condenser unit’s fan causes it to deteriorate more quickly. Because there are lesser tears, there is a lesser need to contact professional servicing.

How Often Should You Clean AC Coils

Most of the time, your ac coils should be cleaned once a year. Your air conditioner coils can get dirty and clogged with accumulated dust in just one year, which will reduce their efficiency.

This is because the dirtiness of your system affects how well it works; therefore, you need to have them cleaned periodically or when they become too full of debris for proper operation (which could be sooner than expected). You should also consider where AC equipment operates most heavily–city living might require twice yearly cleaning compared to remote areas without much pollution throughout summertime!


Your air conditioner coils are an important part of your AC unit, and keeping them clean is essential to the unit’s efficiency. A little preventative maintenance can go a long way in ensuring that your air conditioner coils stay clean and your unit runs smoothly for years to come!

Last Updated on

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *