While air conditions can make indoor temperatures more bearable, keeping them clean is important for their efficiency and your health.
To clean your outside AC unit, you’ll need to inspect the interior and exterior of the air conditioner, remove any debris with a brush attachment or vacuum, spray it down with a hose, and check the condenser coils and refrigerant lines.
While it’s important to follow your air conditioner manufacturer’s recommendations, we have put together easy instructions.
Read on to find out the exact step-by-step process to clean your outdoor AC unit.
How to Clean Your Outside AC Unit
1. Turn off the power to the AC unit at the breaker box.
Always make sure that you turn off the power before messing with any type of electrical work, including your outdoor AC unit.
It’s easy to assume you may not have to since you’re not replacing or repairing anything, but it can be dangerous to clean it without an electrical disconnect from the unit.
2. Inspect the exterior of the unit for dirt, leaves, or other debris.
It’s vital to make sure you get rid of all the leaves, dirt, and other debris floating around the exterior of your unit.
3. If necessary, use a garden hose to spray down the exterior of the unit.
You can use a normal garden hose to spray the outside of your air conditioner.
As long as the unit is powered off, this is completely safe.
4. Use a brush or vacuum cleaner to remove any dirt or debris from inside the unit.
When focusing on the inside of air conditioning units, you can use a soft brush attachment or vacuum to gently clean out the dirt and debris.
You can even use a brush attachment on your wet/dry vacuum cleaner.
It’s important to use a wet/dry vacuum instead of a normal vacuum, especially if you sprayed the outside down first.
5. Replace any insulation that has been damaged or removed.
As you are inspecting your outdoor unit, take a look around and make sure no insulation has been damaged or removed.
If so, it’s important that you replace it promptly. You may need a maintenance visit if you are not experienced enough in this area.
6. Clean or replace filter
The best thing you can do for an air conditioner is clean the air filter regularly.
AC units cannot run effectively without a clean air filter.
It’s not just about not being able to cool down properly; you will end up spending more money on your energy bills if you have a filter that is filled with debris.
7. Clean the AC condenser coils
When you get to the AC condenser coils, you will benefit from a cleaning agent that is specifically for the coils.
You can find coil cleaners in most stores.
The formula will remove grease, dust, lint, dirt, and other debris without you needing to rinse it off after.
8. Clean and clear debris from the condenser
If your condenser is dirty, you will want to clean it out and remove any debris.
The buildup will end up causing issues with your ac coils, condenser fins, and overall functioning of the unit.
9. Check refrigerant lines
Refrigerant lines are one of the areas you don’t want to skimp on when it comes to maintenance and cleaning of your outdoor unit.
If anything is wrong with the lines, it’s important to call an HVAC technician, especially if you have never done anything like this before.
Messing with refrigerant lines can turn into a dangerous situation if you’re not experienced.
10. Turn on the power to the AC unit
Now you can turn on the power to your AC unit at the breaker box and the actual unit. Run it for a few minutes to make sure everything runs well.
Is it OK to Spray Water on Your Air Conditioner?
You can spray water on an outside air conditioner if it needs cleaning; nothing bad will happen.
In fact, when you spray water on the air conditioner condenser, it will help it run more efficiently.
A condenser needs regular spraying or spritzing to keep running properly.
To do this properly, all you need is a simple garden hose. Just run it over the unit and spray from the top to bottom.
How spraying your air conditioner actually helps
Lengthens the lifespan
As you are taking steps to ensure air conditioner efficiency, you are increasing the longevity of the unit.
The less your outdoor air conditioning unit has to work, the better.
Enhance the efficiency
When you spray your unit, including the condenser unit, you allow the unit to evaporate water, leading to it cooling off easier.
In turn, this means it will work less and reduce the energy it uses.
Keeping it unclogged
When you spray your air conditioner with water, you are keeping out the debris and particles that easily get stuck in the condenser coils and vents.
The longer you allow the build-up of debris to progress, the dirtier and clogged your filter will get.
How Often Should You Clean Your Outside AC Unit?
While two times per year is ideal for cleaning your outside AC unit, even one time per year of thorough cleaning is enough.
Can You Clean Your AC Unit Yourself?
Yes, you can clean your AC unit yourself.
However, it’s important to be careful, as there are some electrical components that can be damaged if water is used.
It’s best to stick with a brush or vacuum cleaner and only use water if you are absolutely sure it will not damage the AC unit.
Cleaning your air conditioning unit is an important part of maintaining it and ensuring that it runs efficiently.
When Should You Hire an HVAC Professional for Maintenance?
A well-maintained HVAC system is important for keeping your home comfortable and your energy bills in check.
But did you know that it’s also important to keep your outside AC unit maintained?
Scheduled maintenance by expert technicians can help improve the efficiency of your unit and extend its lifespan.