DIY Air Conditioner Condenser Cleaning

DIY Air Conditioner Condenser Cleaning

  • August 19, 2015
  • By MR COOL

Your air conditioner condenser is like everything else in your home – it gets dirty. Obviously, this is less than ideal. Too much dirt and grime in your A/C will reduce energy efficiency, and is a leading cause of mechanical failure. Should you hire someone to clean the system or is DIY air conditioner condenser cleaning possible?

It is and it’s not as hard as you think.

100% DIY Air Conditioner Condenser Cleaning is Easy

The first thing you need to know about DIY air conditioner condenser cleaning is that you don’t need any special tools or chemicals. There are useful air conditioner cleaning products on the market, but they aren’t 100% necessary. Still, if you want to pick some up from your local hardware store, it won’t hurt a thing.

Let’s get started.

Exterior Condenser Cleaning & You!

An air conditioner condenser is the portion installed outside your house. As you might imagine, it can get really dirty. Dirt, dust, leaves, insects, and all sorts of other contaminants can gunk up the coils. You need to get this cleaned out for optimum running.

1. Alright genius, turn off the power. Accidental electrocution isn’t fun for anyone.

2. Clean away all the leaves, brush, and debris from the outside. Also, important tip, when you mow your lawn never point the exhaust side of the mower toward the condenser.

3. Get a wet/dry vacuum to remove the big stuff from the exterior.

4. Check to see if any of the condenser fins are bent. If they are, use a dull tool to GENTLY straighten them. Emphasis on the GENTLY.

5. Now, you’re going to remove the top grill. You’ll need some tools, but nothing exotic. Lift out the fan, set it safely to the side, and do NOT yank on any of the exposed wires. You did turn the power off, right?

6. Clean up any loose debris inside the cavity.

7. Take your garden hose and GENTLY spray the fins from the inside. You want to push any debris out. Spraying the fins from the outside will only push the trash inside the unit. This is bad.

8. Replace the fan and reattach the top grill.

9. Let the unit dry out for about 24 hours.

10. Turn the power back on to the unit, and you’re done.

And that’s pretty much all there is to DIY air conditioner condenser cleaning. It’s probably a lot less hard than you thought, and it’s a great way to keep your unit running strong all season long.


18 thoughts on “DIY Air Conditioner Condenser Cleaning”

    1. You can clean the condenser as often as you need, but it’s recommended to do it at least once a year. As for the air handler, we recommend cleaning the washable filters once every two weeks.

    1. You should be able to open the front panel, remove the filters, wash the filters, and clean all visible hardware with a damp cloth. You may also be interested in investing in a mini-split cleaning kit, or having an HVAC professional come out and perform maintenance on it in order to keep it clean.

    2. all 3 of my fan wheels look disgusting too, one is so dirty it is hardly moving air, doesn’t seem like an easy job to clean this.

  1. It would be really great if you had instructions for taking the interior unit’s housing off! I would like to be able to clean the coil inside twice a year… I could not get anyone from your company to give adequate instructions on how to do this. Impossible to clean inside unit coils without removing the housing!

    1. We apologize greatly for this. You should be able to appropriately clean the indoor air handler if you open the front panel of the air handler.

    1. As often as you think you need it! We might recommend running it once a month or so, or slightly more often if you have pets or more dust in your home.

    1. While we do not have a video like this, YouTube can be a great resource. However, please be mindful and extremely careful when cleaning your system.

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