Spring Cleaning for Your Home’s Air Conditioner

outside AC unit

Warmer spring weather in Melbourne, FL, is perfect for spending time outside and preparing for summer. Cleaning your air conditioner should be one of several projects on your list for the spring. While you can call a company to clean it for you, if you’re willing to get your hands dirty, you could also learn how to clean an air conditioner yourself.

Expert Tips on How to Clean Your Central Air Conditioner

If you’re handy, you can learn how to clean your air conditioner unit like a pro. Try these steps professionals would use for maintenance cleanings for your AC unit.

  1. Turn off the breaker. Before disassembling your AC unit, make sure the power is off and the AC circuit breaker switch is also turned to the off position.
  2. Remove the fan. The fan is often located on the top side of your unit. Remove the screws and pull the fan off, being careful not to stress the electrical wires connecting it to the system.
  3. Clear the leaves and twigs. Inside the box, there will likely be a mess of leaves and other foliage at the bottom. Clear the debris by hand or with a vacuum.
  4. Care for the coils. Lining the walls of the chamber, you’ll see the fins of the condenser coils. You have a few different options for how to clean the coils. Down further, we discuss the different options.
  5. Put the system back together. Once the inside is clean, set the fan back in place and refasten all the screws.
  6. Restore power. Now that the system is fully cleaned and reassembled turn the power back on and test how it runs. The system is designed to run with moisture, so there’s no need to allow it to dry from cleaning.

Related Content: Common AC Evaporator Coil Issues

How to Clean Your Air Conditioner Coils

Inside the outdoor condenser unit, you’ll see thin vents (called fins) lining the walls. Because these narrow vents protect the condenser from dust and dirt, regular cleaning is important. Here are four ways to clean the coils on your own.

  • Use an air compressor. To remove light dust and dirt, send a burst of air through the condenser coil fins. Using even pressure, dislodge particles along the finned walls.
  • Carefully brush. You can remove small to moderate amounts of dirt from the coils with a soft-bristled brush. Be careful not to damage the fins as you clean.
  • Apply a cleaner. You can pick up a chemical coil cleaner spray for a deeper clean. Start at the top and apply the spray evenly over the walls until the can is finished. Let the foam rest for 5 to 10 minutes, and spray clean with a water hose. Finish by rinsing the outside of the box as well.
  • Mix a cleaning solution. If you prefer avoiding chemical sprays, you can dilute a mild detergent in water, fill a spray bottle and use that to saturate and clean the coils. Rinse thoroughly with clean water afterward.

How to Clean an Air Conditioner Filter 

Does cleaning your filter regularly actually save you 5% to 15% on energy costs? What happens if you don’t clean your air conditioner filter? Put simply, the excess particles clogging the filter force your system to work harder to push the same amount of air through. It’s also possible for particles to slip past the filter and make direct contact with the evaporator coils, disrupting the AC’s heat absorption. Here’s how to clean your reusable filter and keep your system running properly.

  1. Remove. With the AC power off, open and remove all of the filters. Some systems have multiple filters, so check each vent.
  2. Vacuum. Lift dust and allergen particles from the surface of the material with a handheld vacuum to make the next step easier.
  3. Rinse. Gently wash the filter with a hose or in a sink. If the filter needs a deep cleaning, soak it in equal parts vinegar and water for one hour. Allow it to dry fully to ensure no mildew builds up in the material.
  4. Replace. Return each of the filters to their place.

Professional Air Conditioner Maintenance in Melbourne, FL

As you enjoy the mild spring weather, it’s the perfect time to clear away any brush from your outdoor AC unit and prepare for the heat of summer. If you know how to clean your home air conditioner, you can add years to the system’s lifespan.

However, if your system needs repair or a more-involved cleaning, our expert technicians at Dial Duron Service Co. can help. Give us a call at (321) 341-3625 or request service online to get started.