When Your Air Conditioner Won't Work

When Your Air Conditioner Won't Work

How to Clean Condenser Coils

by Clara Fernandez

HVAC maintenance is not always as complicated as you might think. Of course, most technical and electrical work will need to be done by licensed professionals, but there are quite a few simple job that you can do on your own. Most of these jobs are preventative in nature. Not only will they help you to maintain efficiency and productivity of your major appliances, they will also help to prevent breakdowns.

In the long run, even the simplest maintenance jobs might end up saving you a lot of money. One great example is cleaning your condenser coils. This is one of the most basic, yet most vital jobs for easy HVAC maintenance. This article explains the best tools and techniques for this job.

What You Need

Most importantly, you need a hose that can easily reach the condenser unit so you can spray it from every angle. Some all-purpose liquid cleaner may also be necessary to help dissolve the dirt buildup. If you looks like you have bent coils, a condenser fin comb might also be a worthwhile investment. These small plastic tools are cheap and available at most home improvement stores.


Shut the power to your condenser unit before you work on it. If you do need to straighten your coils, you will want to try and do it before cleaning them. However, the dirt might prevent the comb from getting in between some coils, making it hard for it to properly straighten them. So, you will often need to use the comb before and after cleaning the coils. Be careful when straightening your coils because they are quite fragile. If your hand slips, you could end up flattening several rows at once. Flattened fins are the hardest to fix.

Before you spray the coils with water, you can soak them in the cleaner. There are coil cleaning liquids available, but most all-purpose liquids cleaners will work just as well for most dirt problems. Let the cleaner soak in for a few minutes so it has time to break down the dirt. You also need to be careful when spraying the coils with a hose that your stream is not too powerful. Too much pressure could actually bend the coils again.

If necessary, trying re-straightening your coil fins one last time after they are thoroughly cleaned. Your condenser unit will certainly work better if you perform this cleaning once a year. Learn more about maintenance and repair by contacting companies like One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning.


About Me

When Your Air Conditioner Won't Work

My name is Maura, and I am certified in HVAC installation and repair. I have many clients who call me in a panic because they have turned on their air conditioners and nothing has happened. Your air conditioning technician will get to you as soon as possible, but there are some steps you can take while you are waiting. You might just find that you are able to fix the problem on your own, although you will still want to have a professional assess the situation. In this blog I will take you through some common reasons your air conditioner might not be working and show you some easy temporary solutions.