How to Clean an A/C Condenser

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    An important part of maintaining your central air conditioning system is cleaning the air conditioning condenser ... the right way. Often, homeowners simply spray down their condenser with a garden hose, which can actually damage the fins or other components if done carelessly. Here's a safer, more thorough method for cleaning your A/C condenser unit. 

    What You'll Need

    • Lawn edge trimmers and/or hedge clippers
    • Spray bottle
    • Coil cleaner or mild household cleaner, such as diluted dish soap
    • Soft brush or even a toothbrush

    What to Do

    • Turn off the electrical power to your condenser at the a shutoff box.

    • Trim any grass, shrubs, or other plants that have grown too close to the unit. 

    • Remove any large pieces of debris such as leaves, twigs, or pebbles.

    • Vacuum the fins with a soft brush attachment, being careful not to bend or damage any of the coils. 

    • Once that is completed, put the coil cleaner or soapy water in a spray bottle and begin to gently spray the coils.

    • Brush away! This step entails cleaning the fins of the condenser with a soft brush to remove accumulated dirt. You may have to remove the protective grille to reach them. Clean fins very carefully.

    • Use your common sense and examine your unit to see if everything is in check. Pay close attention to the concrete pad that your unit is on. If it is not level, consider having someone help you lift it in order to put some gravel or small rocks under it to even it out.

    Remember, if you don't have the time to clean your condenser, you can always find a professional HVAC contractor to do it for you.

    Updated August 16, 2018.

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