How to Clean AC Coils
How to Clean AC Coils


What You Need

  • Simple Green Foaming Coil Cleaner
  • A pressurized, pump-up, or spray applicator
  • Garden hose or some other clean water source
  • Small broom or hand brush
  • Fin comb (available at hardware stores)

Did you know there are two types of coils in your AC unit? Evaporator and condenser coils, and both serve a different function.

Evaporator coils absorb heat and humidity from your home and are located on the interior of the AC unit. Condenser coils are located on the outdoor portion of the unit (making them more susceptible to accumulating dirt) and release excess heat outside.

Dirt build-up in your AC coils causes your unit to run less efficiently. This leads to higher energy costs and an increased risk of system breakdown due to overworked components. You can avoid these issues by replacing your air filter every four months, and giving your AC condenser coils a good cleaning with Simple Green Foaming Coil Cleaner.


Check your air conditioner warranty before cleaning.

  1. Turn off the AC and shut off power to the condensing unit. Condenser coils should be cool before cleaning.
  2. Remove outer case and caging. Remove the bolts that are attaching the lid to the rest of the condenser, avoiding the bolts that hold the fan to the lid. If your air conditioner's fan assembly is at the top of the unit, be careful not to stretch or damage any wires. If you can't proceed without doing this, contact a professional.
  3. Clear out debris and broken fins. Use a small broom or hand brush to remove any broken aluminum fins (aluminum fins improve heat transfer) as well as leaves, dirt or dead insects that have gotten into the unit. This helps increase airflow and cooling.
  4. Spray out the unit. Use a hose to spray your AC unit from the inside outward, without soaking the disconnect or the electrical components inside the access panel.
  5. Dilute 1-part Foaming Coil Cleaner with 3-parts water. [Example: 1 quart cleaner to 3 quarts water]
  6. Apply cleaner to coils. To ensure foaming, use a pressurized, pump-up, or spray applicator. Avoid spraying onto electrical wires or connections.
  7. Product is self-rinsing on condensate-producing coils. Otherwise, damp wipe or clean with water.
  8. Inspect coil fins for damage. Carefully straighten any bent coil fins with a fin comb.
  9. Reassemble the air conditioner now that your AC coils are clean and reconnect power to the condensing unit.


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