How to Clean AC Coils in 6 Steps

Having an air conditioner, especially on hot, sunny days, is a relief. It takes away all the stress and sweat that accompanies summer. However, while your air conditioning unit is providing you with comfort, it is also fighting its own battle.

Accumulation of dust, pollen, and other types of air contaminants in your air conditioner’s coils can potentially cause your AC unit to malfunction. This is where regular cleaning comes in handy.

Importance of Cleaning Your AC Unit’s Coils

Different types of air conditioners have different types of coils. However, in all air conditioning units (both commercial air conditioners and split-system air conditioners), coils collect debris, dust, and particulate matter from the air that flows in and out of the system. The accumulation of these pollutants can result in a less efficient and defective unit. It can affect the system’s overall ability to cool and heat the air that flows into it.

Dirty AC coils will not allow air to pass through the system because of all the particulates and debris that are stuck in the coils. This will lead to your air conditioning unit requiring more power, thus resulting in higher electricity bills. Eventually, dirty coils will cause your AC unit to overheat and break down, which could throw a wrench in your budget.

How to Clean AC Coils

1. Turn off your air conditioning unit and open the panels to access the coils.

For safety purposes, turn your thermostat off, and then the breaker so there is no possible threat of electrocution. After turning everything off, you can open your unit’s back panels and take off the screws that hold it together. This will give you access to your AC unit’s coils.

2. Observe how dirty your AC’s coils are.

Depending on how dirty the coils are, you can use different things to clean them. If the coils are not that dirty, you can use compressed air to blow out the dust and debris that are stuck in the coils. You can also opt to use a brush, detergent, or commercial AC cleaning solution for a more precise and deep cleaning process.

3. Remove all the dirt stuck at the base.

Clear away all of the leaves, grass, and other debris stuck onto the base of your unit. These could cause your unit to malfunction once they decompose.

4. Pick your tools and get cleaning.

If you are using a cleaning solution, follow the instructions on the bottle for how clean ac coils. Make sure you get all of the dust and dirt that are stuck in the coils. Spray the cleaning solution onto the entire surface of the coils, making sure everything is thoroughly covered. If you are using a brush, sweep it gently over the coils to brush away all of the trapped debris. Make sure to use a brush with gentle bristles as opposed to hard brushes that can cause damage to your unit.

5. Straighten out the bent fins.

This step is optional, but if the coils have some bent fins in them, brush them out with a fin brush to straighten them out. This will lead to a more efficient air conditioning unit by expanding its exposed surface area. Doing this extra step will boost the unit’s performance.

6. Rinse if needed.

If your cleaning solution requires you to rinse your unit, do it. Spray down your unit with clean water to get all the cleaning solution off the unit.

Learning how to clean your AC coils, and how important it is to your unit’s health, can help you save a lot of money in the long run. It can prevent future breakdowns, replacements, and high electricity bills. However, investing in a regular maintenance check-up done by professionals is also very important. It will ensure that your unit is functioning at its optimal state, and is safe for you and your loved ones to use. Prolong your AC’s lifespan and get cleaning!



ECM Air Conditioning, with its headquarters located in Boynton Beach, FL, provides air conditioning services within Palm Beach County, Broward County, Martin County, and St. Lucie County. If you’re looking to have a new HVAC system installed, we’re on-call and ready to assist you. So if you’re in need of an HVAC installation, don’t hesitate to contact us today to schedule an inspection! Our HVAC installation experts will check your ductwork, measure, check wire sizes, and more before making recommendations to ensure maximum efficiency and comfort. Call us at 561-295-1763 or contact our HVAC installation team online by clicking here.


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