An air conditioner is an essential appliance that helps us cool down when the weather is steaming hot. Therefore, we must expect it to be turned on and working for the duration of the summer season. Air conditioners can get dirty when used often, especially in the filter component of the air conditioner. Leaving it dirty will surely hinder the machine’s ability to cool your room or home. A dirty air conditioner may cause you inconvenience and problems down the road. At this point you might be thinking, what’s the best method for cleaning an air conditioner? Would it be okay to hose down an air conditioner to easily remove the dirt? What else can I do?

Why You Should Hose Down Your Air Conditioner

Hosing down an air conditioner

​Yes, you can hose down your ac unit. In fact, spraying water on your air conditioner to clear dirt and other debris, along with a regular/preventative maintenance plan can help keep your air conditioner unit running more efficiently. You can try to lift off the air conditioner’s condenser component and spray it down since the condenser’s primary function is to pull air in and cool it off. When it pulls in air, it also drags along dirt, dust, and pollens.

To properly clean your AC unit, start at the top and work to the bottom with a strong stream of water. This will help to clear your air conditioner of debris and make it good as new once again!

Other methods and tips

Aside from hosing down the condenser component of your air conditioner and having it remove all the dirt and pollens, there are other ways you can do to help clean your air conditioner. By following some of the methods below, you can help avoid potential damages.

●     Spray

Other than hosing, you can try spraying the inside component of your air conditioner. Before doing this, you should reduce the water pressure and remove the fan part of the air conditioner. Once you have done so, you may then proceed to spray the insides.

●     Filter

One of the essential parts of an air conditioner is its filter. In order to maintain the effectiveness of an air conditioner, you should take care and clean the air conditioner filter. Keeping the airflow consistent is the key to having your air conditioner perform in its best condition. It is highly advised that you replace your filters every two months. However, it depends on how often you use your air conditioner. This is because the longer it is running, the more dirt and debris it may gather.

●     Dirty Condenser Coils

The condenser coils component can be significant in size but can also be small in size. Condenser coils are protected by the louvered grilles but are often exposed to dirty elements. The metal condenser fins of an air conditioner help transfer heat to the air and usually contain tubes that carry the hotness. This component gives off the heat as it condenses.

Dust and grass clippings can stick to and collect on the air conditioner’s coil surface. This can contribute to the slowness and ineffectiveness of an air conditioner. Any debris that accumulates onto the air conditioner can significantly interfere with the airflow of the coil, further damaging and restricting the air conditioner’s ability to expel heat and cool off.

How can you clean dirty condenser coils on your air conditioning unit?

To start, turn off the AC and shut off the power to the condensing unit. Then, remove the outer caging to the ac unit and remove bolts that are attached to the condenser. Next, use a small broom or hand brush to clear out debris and broken fins. Without soaking the electrical components, spray the AC unit from the inside out using a hose. After the initial rinse, use a coil cleaner that is compatible with the type of AC unit you have. Let the mixture sit on the condenser coils for 15 minutes before spraying the AC unit with a hose once again. Lastly, reassemble the air conditioner.

●     Evaporator Coils

When problems develop with your air conditioner’s evaporator coils, the efficiency of the AC unit can drop and breakdowns are more likely. Evaporator coils provide the cooling needed to keep your home or business cold when outside temperatures are high. The most common problems with dirty evaporator coils include:

  • Cooling capacity lowers
  • Heat transfer reduction
  • Energy consumption increases
  • Operating pressures and temperatures increase
  • Component damage, system malfunctions, and reduced life expectancy as a result of increased wear and tear on the ac unit.

How can you clean dirty evaporator coils on your air conditioning unit?

If the evaporator coils on your ac unit are prone to collecting dirt and debris, regular, monthly cleaning may be necessary. As a general rule of thumb, it is best to clean your evaporator coils once every three months during cooling seasons, or once annually during AC preventative maintenance appointments. There are multiple ways in which you can clean evaporator coils. The most common ways to clean evaporator coils include the following

  • Compressed Air – For light accumulations of dust and debris
  • Brush Cleaning – This method is most effective when removing minor accumulations of dust, dirt, and other debris.
  • Commercial Cleaners – Foaming types of commercial cleaners for evaporator coils break down debris which then drains into the AC unit’s drainage system.
  • Mild Detergents – For best results, mix a mild detergent with warm water. Spray the mixture onto the coils and let it sit to loosen debris. Then, wipe away loose materials.
  • Heavy Duty Cleaning – Evaporator coils that are heavily soiled can require a pressure washer or steam cleaner to loosen dirt and debris.

Indoor Unit

When hosing down your air conditioner, don’t forget to give some attention to the AC unit and air filter inside your home as well. When cleaning the indoor ac unit, you will want to make sure to turn off the power before replacing or cleaning the air filter. To ensure maximum efficiency, we recommend replacing the air filter before the summer heat hits.

In conclusion, an air conditioner is an essential appliance in your home. It helps you cool your homes during the summer season. Therefore, it should always be cleaned to maintain excellent condition and maximum effectiveness. Always thoroughly check the insides of the air conditioner to know when your cleaning season of the air conditioner will be!

Additional Source: Energy Saver 101 Infographic: Home Cooling

Air Care Heating and Air Conditioning – Residential & Commercial HVAC Services in Omaha & Council Bluffs

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