How To Thoroughly Clean Your Air Conditioner's Outdoor Condenser

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If your air conditioner's condenser is located on the side of your home, you may go through long periods of time where you don't even see it. Don't be surprised to discover that the condenser is absolutely filthy and will need to be cleaned to keep it running in good condition. Here are some tips for cleaning your air-conditioning unit's condenser.

Shut Down The Power

The first thing you'll want to do is make sure that the power is turned off to the condenser since you do not want the fan blades starting up while you are working on it. Do this by turning off the air conditioner on the thermostat, and then turning off the power at the circuit breaker. Your air conditioner may have a circuit breaker outside your home that can be shut off or a switch on the main panel.

Remove The Fan

You will want to remove the screws that are holding the fan in place on top of the unit. The entire fan housing should be able to lift off the condenser or flip backward to give you easy access to the inside of the unit. If you are removing screws, make sure to put them in a plastic bag so that you don't lose them. You shouldn't need to disconnect any electrical wires at this point since you are just making it easy to access the inside.

Scoop Out The Inside Debris

The inside of the condenser is likely filled with various debris. You'll need to scoop this debris out the best that you can. There may be a lot of debris inside of it, and you really just need to focus on removing the large debris.

Spray Down The Coils

Your local home improvement store will sell air-conditioning coil cleaner in a spray foam form. You'll want to spray it inside the coils, being careful not to be forceful with the coils to avoid bending them. This spray will work its way into the coils and clean off the surfaces.

Rinse Out The Unit

Once the foam has worked its way into the coils for the required amount of time, you can rinse off the foam with your hose. Spray from the inside of the unit so that the debris in the coils gets forced out of the unit. There is likely a ton of dirt between the coils because the unit sucks air in through the coils when it is operating. Just make sure to avoid getting the coil and the electrical components wet.