If you’ve ever wondered what the “outside” part of your air conditioner is, it’s called the condenser. It’s full of copper pipe, cooling fins and a fan, and it’s the part of your A/C that does the cooling. Since it’s outside, dust and debris can build up on the condenser, and when there are debris on your A/C unit, your air conditioner won’t be able to work efficiently. So, take an afternoon and clean it up before the summer season in Northeast Ohio starts.
How to remove the debris on your A/C unit:
- Before you start, turn off the power to your A/C at the breaker box inside your home and turn the thermostat to off.
- Now that you can work safely, inspect the area around the condenser. If there are any tall weeds or other foliage, remove them with a weed eater or pruning shears.
- If you have a vacuum with a brush attachment, use it to clean the cooling fins. If not, use a soft-bristle brush. Don’t use a wire brush, as it’s important you do not bend or damage any of the cooling fins.
- If there are bent cooling fins, your local home improvement store will have a tool called a fin comb that will help you repair them.
- Next, remove the top of the unit, which should include the fan. Be careful not to damage any of the electrical connections. Clean the fan and the inside of the unit with your brush or vacuum.
- To finish cleaning, use a garden hose to wash off the inside and outside cooling fins. Don’t use a high-pressure sprayer, because this could bend the cooling fins. Also use the hose to spray off the concrete slab your A/C rests on. If your A/C’s fan has a lubrication port, fill it with the appropriate grease.
- When you’re done, attach the top grate and fan to the condenser and turn the electricity back on. Wait 24 hours to run your A/C.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Cleveland, Ohio about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about A/C units and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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