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Air conditioning coil cleaning is an important part of air conditioner maintenance that is often overlooked just because it is out of sight on the roof or outside. Cleaning only the air filters is never enough. Yes, the filter will capture and remove dust from the air. But the coils can become the breeding ground for dirt and dust too, even mould, mildew, fungus and bacteria, if your split-type air con is not cleaned and sanitised regularly. Most likely, you are breathing in contaminated air which can contribute to poor health.
Because air conditioning coils perform vital roles in the heat transfer process, cooling your space for that maximum level of comfort, it is always recommended to schedule a regular professional maintenance service to ensure its efficiency, better air quality and lower electricity bill. However, as an A/C unit owner, it is also important to know and understand the whole coil cleaning process so that you know what to expect during the aircon expert service and you will be able to better explain and communicate your concerns with your local HVAC Technician.
Below are some general steps to clean your air conditioning coils.
How to Clean A/C Indoor Evaporator Coil
Step 1: Turn off your Air Conditioning Unit
Always turn off the power, unplug the cord or turn off the power at your breaker box before you start taking apart and cleaning your air conditioner unit. Safety should be your number one priority and you should take the necessary precautions.
Step 2: Open the Front Panel to Access the Coils
Depending on your AC unit, you may need to use a screwdriver to take off the front panel completely to gain access to the evaporator coils. Air conditioning units come with an operation manual that details how to open the unit up for coil cleaning. If you do not have the manual available, you can download a copy from the manufacturer’s website.
Step 3: Clean the A/C Evaporator Coils
With the help of a soft brush, remove the dust from the coils.
For the remaining dirt and grime, use an air conditioner coil cleaner. There are several types of coil cleaning solutions commercially available. Make sure to use the appropriate foaming coil cleaner for your indoor and outdoor coils.
Rinse off the coils with fresh water using a portable pressure washer. This step will flush out all the dirt, dust and loosened grime from the coils. Use washers with adjustable PSI pressure and set it to that of a garden hose so the coil’s thin metal fins won’t get bent or damaged.
Step 4: Close the Access Panel
Make sure that all parts of the air con unit are clean and dry and put everything back together before reattaching the front panel.
How to Clean A/C Outdoor Condenser Coil
Step 1: Remove the Top and Side Covers
To start, shut off the power by disconnecting the plug in the outdoor power box or by switching off the A/C breaker switch in your main breaker panel.
Use a screwdriver to unscrew and remove the top and side panels. As you remove each panel, carefully inspect and keep them in order so you remember how to put them back later. Be careful not to bend or damage the condenser fins.
Step 2: Remove Debris in and Around the A/C Unit
Remove any large pieces of debris in and around your unit. Depending on the aircon unit, some models may not have guards in place to prevent leaves, tiny twigs or other bits of debris from coming through.
Step 3: Clean the A/C Condenser Coils and Fins
Using a soft-bristle coil fin brush, carefully brush off the dust and dirt from the condenser fins.
Take your garden hose with a spray nozzle and gently wet the coils to clean away any remaining dirt. If there's no available hose or water tap on site, your portable pressure washer with a water tank will come in handy.
Apply a generous amount of foaming coil cleaning solution onto the coils using a spray bottle. Allow it to foam up for a few minutes depending on the coil cleaner instructions. Always choose the appropriate type of commercially available coil cleaner for your outdoor coils.
Gently wash away the coil cleaner with fresh water using a portable pressure washer starting from the top and work your way down. Use the pressure washer with PSI pressure similar to a garden hose to avoid bending or damaging the delicate fins.
Step 4: Straighten the Fins
Straighten bent fins with a fin comb or fin straightening tool. Comb the fins carefully back into place.
Step 5: Re-attach the Panels
Using a screwdriver, re-install the panels one by one according to the operation’s manual. Leave the screws loose and tighten only when all the panels are in.
Cool Tools HVAC-R is a proud online store for all your HVAC maintenance and coil cleaning tools. We offer the best value portable spray systems and pressure washers to help Air Conditioning Technicians around Australia provide quick, efficient, professional and cost-effective solutions to commercial and residential split system maintenance services.
With a portable water tank, rechargeable battery that allows uninterrupted use for over 30 minutes and adjustable PSI pressure from 43.5 to 130.5 PSI according to your cleaning preference, you will definitely find the best pressure washers for cleaning any indoor and outdoor air conditioner units available here.