How to Clean AC Coils


Maintaining your air conditioner coils is critical for its performance and longevity. Dirty coils can reduce cooling capacity and increase energy usage, which in turn results in higher monthly bills.

Fortunately, you can keep your AC coils clean and maintain it yourself with the right tools. However, if you feel unqualified to handle this task yourself, contact an HVAC professional as part of a routine maintenance schedule for assistance.

1. Use a Brush

Brushes are one of the most efficient tools for cleaning air conditioning coils. Not only does it remove dirt and debris without using chemicals or water, but it’s a cost-effective option too!

First, locate the evaporator coils on your AC unit. These typically reside either near the air intake side of your fan coil or furnace outlet side.

Next, remove the grills from your condenser and use your brush to clean them inside out. Rinse often to eliminate any remaining chemicals or dirt particles.

A fin brush can also be used to straighten out bent coil fins on your air conditioning unit, increasing their surface area and improving performance.

2. Use a Coil Comb

Maintaining clean ac coils is an integral part of keeping your home cool. When they become dirty, they restrict airflow and decrease system efficiency.

Regular cleaning helps prevent the buildup of dust, dirt, and debris in your home. It also keeps your AC unit functioning optimally so it can cool your house effectively while keeping utility bills down.

With a coil brush, you can gently scrub away dust and other particles from the surface of your AC’s evaporator coils. A brush with moderately stiff nylon bristles will be ideal for this task.

To protect your coils’ soft metal fins, use a brush that is halfway between a hand broom and wire brush.

A fin comb is an inexpensive tool that can be used to straighten bent fins on air conditioning coils. Start by inserting the fin comb between each bottom fin and pulling up; you may need multiple passes if your fins are severely bent.

3. Use a Vacuum

Maintaining your AC coils is critical for improving its efficiency, which in turn leads to higher energy bills.

Furthermore, dirty air conditioning coils may make your unit work harder to remove heat from your home, leading to a hot and humid atmosphere that increases the risk of breakdowns.

Prevent coil damage and save yourself the expense of costly repairs by hiring an HVAC professional for cleaning. Regular coil cleanings are less expensive than repairs, plus they extend the life of your unit.

The ideal way to clean your AC coils is with a vacuum cleaner. This tool effectively eliminates all loose dust and debris from the coils without using chemical cleaners.

4. Use a Steamer

A steamer is an efficient and secure way to disinfect clothes, bedding, furniture and other items. It utilizes a continuous stream of hot water for thorough cleaning – even delicate fabrics like silk.

Steam can gently heat the surface of a fabric, causing it to expand and regain its natural shape without damage. Unlike ironing, which uses flat surfaces that press directly against materials like cotton, steam release from a distance is more gentle on these delicate fibers.

Mary Gagliardi, aka “Dr. Laundry” at Clorox, recommends placing a press cloth between your fabric and steamer to prevent scorch marks. This also helps keep it from moving while you’re steaming.

If you need a deeper clean of your coils, try using a foaming cleaner that has self-rinsing capabilities. It quickly dissolves dirt, grease and oil while leaving them looking spotless and shiny. Some of these cleaners even have an enjoyable lemon scent to them which will add an extra touch!

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