Cleaning Your AC Coils When You Really Don't Want To

You may not enjoy the job of cleaning your air conditioning coils, but this is something you must do if you want to keep your AC running efficiently. Too much build-up on your AC coils will even cause your AC to break down. You will need to know the minimum requirements for how often you should clean your AC.

AC Coil Cleaning Frequency

For most homeowners, you will only need to clean your AC coils once a year. If you live in an area that is unusually dirty and dusty, if your AC is old and if you use your AC very frequently, you might want to clean it monthly.

Cleaning Coils Carefully

Even if you can't wait to finish cleaning your AC coils, you should do so carefully. Being too aggressive with your AC can cause fins to bend and break. You must use the right amount of pressure and you must also use the right cleaning chemicals. Because of the dangers of not cleaning your coils properly, you might want to hire a professional who provides air conditioning services. This will also allow you to avoid the hassle of cleaning your coils.

Gaining Access

If you will be cleaning your coils yourself, the first step is to gain access. Your air handling unit will have an access panel you must remove. If you do not know the location of your access panel, check your AC owner's manual. 

Most access panels have screws or fasteners that hold them in place. After removing the screws, place the access panel and screws to the side in a location where they are unlikely to be lost. 

Cleaning the Coils

One approach to cleaning your coils is to use a vacuum. You can easily dispose of the debris after it has been vacuumed up. An alternative is to use an air compressor to blow debris off of your AC unit. This will help you remove more stubborn deposits because you can place the nozzle close to the deposit. When using high-pressure air, make sure to direct it at a 90-degree angle. This will reduce the risk that you will damage the fins.

Keep the airflow constant. This will eventually remove most of the deposits. If you are still struggling to remove a deposit, grab a wire brush and begin scrubbing. Even if you are not able to completely clean your coils, by cleaning them regularly, your AC will be in much better shape.