How to Clean Your AC Coils

September 14, 2023

Cleaning AC coils isn't difficult, but it does require some experience and caution. Your AC coils are delicate and easily damaged, so it's important to use the right tools and cleansers when preparing to clean the unit.

You want clean AC coils because you want an air conditioner that runs well, especially during a Florida summer. Failure to clean your coils can cause the unit to freeze, overheat, and break, leaving you with the hefty cost of a new air conditioning unit. And, along the way, you pay more for cooling since your unit runs longer and harder to keep your home cool.

If you haven't had your air conditioner maintained with a coil cleaning in more than a year, you might want to tackle the job yourself or call in an HVAC pro. If you're doing it, we have a helpful guide for the process, including:

  • Necessary tools
  • Step-by-step instructions
  • Safety precautions
  • Benefits of professional AC maintenance

Want your AC’s coil cleaned by Florida’s most trusted pros?

Call Advanced Air, where we offer fast and convenient scheduling for all your AC maintenance and repair needs. Since 1989, our no-surprise pricing and fast service have made us your go-to option for HVAC service in Florida.

Necessary Tools

When preparing to start any complicated job, it's a good idea to line up everything you need in advance. For clean coils in your AC unit, you'll need a combination of safety gear and tools.

For your safety:

  • Safety goggles
  • Work gloves
  • For the cleaning:
  • Coil-safe cleanser
  • Coil comb
  • Screwdriver or nut driver

You'll also need to locate the electrical controls for the unit so you can shut off the power before you begin cleaning. You may also be wondering about how to clean AC evaporator coils inside your house, but don't worry! The process is virtually identical no matter which set of coils you're cleaning.

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Find your coils. In most cases, your AC coils are located on the outdoor unit under an access panel. On an indoor unit, the coils are near the air intake, and may also be under a protective panel.
  2. Turn off the power and put on safety gear. Minimize the risk of an electric shock by cutting the power to your unit and making sure you have any safety gear ready to go.
  3. Take off the access panel. You'll need either a screwdriver or nut driver to get the access panel off.
  4. Remove larger debris. Wipe away spider webs, pull out any leaves, and grab any piles of dirt, removing all of that from your coils. Next, grab your coil comb and run it lightly along any area where the coils are bent, using it to gently straighten them. Also, use it to knock off any loose dirt and debris.
  5. Spray the coils with a safe cleanser. If you're working on indoor coils, be sure to get a no-rinse cleanser. Thoroughly coat the coils and wait the recommended amount of time. There should be instructions that come with the cleaner.
  6. Rinse. Rinse away the cleaner and the dirt lifted by the cleaner using the hose.
  7. Let it dry. Wait about an hour before putting the cover back on your unit.

Safety Precautions

Turning the power off is the single most important step before you try cleaning your AC coils. If the power is on, you could sustain a serious electric shock or cause a power surge that damages your air conditioner. Work gloves are a solid addition to your safety gear because coils can be very cold and/or sharp. Protect your hands with work gloves to avoid injuries. You put on goggles to keep dirt and dust out of your eyes. Proper protective gear is there to keep you safe.

Benefits of Professional AC Maintenance

Regular maintenance for your air conditioner helps your unit last longer, run more efficiently, and minimize the number of repairs needed. If you don't clean your air conditioner, it can lead to air conditioning loss during the time when you need it most. HVAC professionals know how to clean the unit without putting your coils in jeopardy.

Want trusted AC maintenance?

Call the honest and professional HVAC technicians at Advanced Air if you need AC maintenance and cleaning. Our no-surprise pricing and 100% satisfaction guarantee mean we'll have your unit clean and ready for summer in no time.

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