If you don’t clean your outdoor air conditioner unit often enough, debris will block the airflow and the unit will release it more slowly. Then, the air conditioner will take longer to cool your home, forcing you to turn the temperature lower and lower. Getting your air conditioner professionally cleaned is expensive, but you can do it yourself to save money.
Gather the proper tools
Look into your air conditioner’s manufacturing information. It’ll list recommendations for the brand or style of air conditioner coil cleaning to purchase. You’ll also need a vacuum that has a soft-brush attachment and a water hose with a sprayer. Dress in work clothes that you don’t care about getting dirty. Wear gardening gloves and something to protect your eyes, like a pair of goggles.
Take safety precautions
Before you start cleaning your air conditioner, you should make sure you turn the thermostat to the “off” setting. Then, look for the electrical disconnect for your air conditioner. It’s most likely a metal box attached to the exterior of your home. Open it and switch off the air conditioner. You can pull the plug out or flip the switch to “off”, depending on whether it’s a pullout switch or circuit breaker shutoff, respectively.
Once you’re sure the air conditioner is fully shut off, remove the fan cage, which is likely located at the top of your air conditioner, using a screwdriver or wrench to take off the fasteners. You can pick out debris by hand or use your vacuum to remove it.
Look for any large pieces of debris and take it out of the vents. Then, gently vacuum the condenser fins on the outside slates of the unit. Next, you should use the spray setting on your hose to wash off grass and leaves. Afterward, spray coil cleaner all over the outside of the unit and wait about 10–15 minutes until the cleaner starts to foam. Then, rinse the coil cleaner off with the regular setting on your hose.
Do some maintenance on the area after cleaning
Once you’ve finished cleaning your air conditioning unit, make sure you put the fan cage back on top. Then, rake leaves and debris away from the air conditioner. You should also cut back branches and plants so that everything is at least 2 feet from the air conditioner. This will ensure optimal airflow surrounding your unit.
It’s a good idea to completely clean your outdoor air conditioner once in the spring and once in the summer. You’re probably using your air conditioning unit the most heavily during these seasons. It’s worth it to clean the unit to make sure you aren’t wasting money running the air conditioner excessively just because it isn’t clean enough to operate at its fullest potential.