If you're in the middle of the dog days of summer, there might be that day that your air conditioner isn't putting out as much cool air as you like. Unless your unit has stopped working completely or you know that there is a need for a repair specialist, you can try to help the air conditioner work better by following the steps below to clean the condenser coils.
Step 1: Gather Your Supplies
All items can be found at a large home improvement store. Coil cleaner can also be found at a refrigerator supply store, and a fin comb can be found at an appliance parts store, if need be.
Step 2: Clear Away Greenery and Other Debris
Locate your outdoor AC condenser unit. Put on your gardening gloves and prune back any shrubs, vines, trees or other plants that are covering or resting on the unit with the garden shears. This helps lessen the opportunity for debris to clog the coils.
Step 3: Clean the Coils
Using the appropriate screwdriver, remove the outer case or access panel to the condenser unit. Use the brush or broom to clean surface dirt off the coils.
Read your coil cleaner's instructions and follow them to thoroughly clean the coils with the rag.
Once you have completed cleaning the coils, flush out the cleaner with a small amount of water, by pouring it on the coils with a bucket or spray bottle. Caution: Do not use a hose, because you could flood the unit, or dampen electrical pieces, and short them out.
Step 4: Clean the Fins
After the coils have dried, inspect the fins. If they are dirty, gently remove the dirt with the brush, broom or rag. Don't bend the fins. These parts are delicate, so if you find them bent already, use the fin comb to straighten them.
Step 5: Replace the Access Panel
Attach the access panel with the screws and screwdriver. Then sweep away any remaining dirt or debris.
Once you have cleaned the condenser coils and replaced the access panel, turn your air conditioner on and wait to see if your home is cooling to the desired temperature. If there is still a problem, call your local air conditioning repair specialist to make an appointment for an inspection and to have the required repairs completed.
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