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How to clean the coils on your air conditioning (AC) unit

Updated on August 10, 2017
This ac unit needs to have its coils cleaned. Learn how here.
This ac unit needs to have its coils cleaned. Learn how here.

Cleaning your coils saves money

In my neighborhood, cottonwoods and willows drop fuzz into the air that clog up the coils on my air conditioning unit. After paying someone to clean the coils on my air conditioner for years, I figured out that it is easy to do it on my own.

Dirty coils make your air conditioner work less efficiently. This leads higher energy bills and in some cases crippled units.

Follow these steps:

Step one: Buy coil cleaner. Your local Ace hardware has a product called Coil Cleen. It is also available at Amazon, so if you are planning ahead, you might save money by buying it online. It works great.

Step two: Pull a hose around to where your external units are.

Step three: Turn off the power to your air conditioner. You do not want it turning on while you are working on it. This can be done inside or outside.

Step four: Spray the coils with Coil Cleen. Let it sit for 3-5 minutes according to the instructions on the Coil Cleen bottle.

Step five: Spray water into the coils at an angle so that it thoroughly rinses the coils. You should see dirt and fuzz flowing out with the water. I recommend a nozzle sprayer that maintains a tight jet of water. Do not brush or touch the coils as they are delicate and and bend if you touch them. Do use a harsh stream of water or pressure washer for the same reason. A normal garden hose with a nozzle will do the trick.

Step six: Turn the air conditioner back on and enjoy your new efficiency.

Cleaning your unit once a year will help keep your cooling costs down. The junk that builds up in the coils is preventing an efficient transfer of heat out of your house, preventing your AC from doing its job. It can tax your unit and shorten its life.

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