Your outdoor AC unit houses the condenser. Keeping it clean by way of air conditioning maintenance will help keep it running efficiently and prevent breakdowns when you least expect it. In today’s post, Superior Air shares a look at how to clean a typical outdoor air conditioning unit. You can decide later whether you want to clean it yourself or leave it to the professionals.
Tools & Cleaners
You’ll need the following in order to clean your air conditioner’s outdoor unit:
Large screwdriver. for removing the top section of the outdoor unit.
Small plastic bucket or tray. for storing screws and the breaker.
Small chair. that’s about the same height as the outdoor enclosure. This will support the top fan after you remove it.
Leaf vacuum. for removing leaves and debris that may be inside the unit.
HVAC coil cleaner. a product that’s specifically formulated for cleaning the condenser coils and aluminum fins in HVAC units. This can be bought in gallon containers (which will require mixing and manual application) or in ready-to-use pressurized cans.
Garden hose. for washing off coil cleaner foam. Don’t use a pressure washer, as this may lead to an unplanned air conditioning repair appointment.
How to Clean Your Outdoor HVAC Unit
Before you begin, unplug the breaker from its dedicated enclosure and place it in your plastic bucket or similar container. If there’s no breaker outdoors, you’ll have to turn it off from the electrical panel.
1. Remove the top section by removing the top screws. Take the top off carefully and avoid tugging on the cable connected to it. Position the chair beside the unit to support the top while open.
2. The enclosure is mostly hollow. You should immediately be able to see if leaves and debris have built up at the bottom. Scoop out what you can and use the leaf vacuum to remove the rest.
3. You’ll notice that the enclosure is lined with thin aluminum fins. These can easily be bent, so be careful not to damage or put pressure on them. Sometimes these fins get so dirty that you’ll barely be able to see light through them when you shine a flashlight from the inside.
4. Apply coil cleaner from the inside. This lets you control where the foam goes. Make sure you have even coverage, then let the foam sit for about 10 minutes. During this time, it will work itself between the fins and dislodge dust and dirt.
5. Use your garden hose to rinse off the foam from the inside. Then rinse it from the outside, making sure the water isn’t forming puddles on the ground. Screw the top section back into place and make sure the unit is thoroughly dry before replacing the breaker.
Superior Air is your leading provider of air conditioning installation and repair services. Give us a call at (559) 734-2002. You can also fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment. We serve customers in Tulare, CA, and the surrounding communities.