Steps To Clean Your Central A/C Unit's Condenser

If your central air conditioner's condenser becomes dirty, the air that blows out of the vents inside of your home may not be as cool as usual. Clean the condenser with the following steps to improve your unit's performance:

Use The Following Items

  • screwdriver
  • wire brush
  • soapy water
  • lint free cloths
  • shop vacuum cleaner
  • fin tool
  • scrub brush
  • naval jelly
  • rust inhibiting spray

​Remove Surface Dirt

Disconnect the power to your central air conditioning system. Remove the cover to the condenser by unscrewing the screws that are around the perimeter of it, Lift the top off, being careful not to disconnect the wiring that is connected to the fan. The condenser is a series of metal pieces that run across the top of your unit. Use a wire brush and soapy water to remove dirt that is on its surface.

If any dirt is stuck between some of the metal, the hose from a shop vacuum cleaner can be used to dislodge it. Press the hose against the areas that are dirty, while the vacuum is turned on high for a few minutes. Wipe the surface of the condenser off with a damp cloth when finished. 

Straighten Metal Pieces And Remove Rust

If any of the metal pieces on the condenser are bent, straighten them with a fin tool. Insert one of the corner's of the tool underneath the metal that needs to be straightened and press it in the direction that you would like the metal to bend. If surface rust is on the condenser, apply naval jelly to the damaged areas with a scrub brush. Use consistent pressure, moving the brush back and forth until all signs of the rust have been removed. Spray the condenser's surface with rust inhibiting spray to prevent rust from forming in the future. 

Reattach The Cover And Test The Unit

Reattach the cover and tighten the screws. Turn on the power to your air conditioning system. If cool air is blowing out of the vents in your home, the cleaning steps that you took were successful. To minimize problems in the future, clean the condenser unit after excessive use. During months that you are not going to be using your central air conditioning, cover the condenser with a tarp or plastic sheeting. Leaves, twigs, and other debris will not be able to get into the unit and cause it to malfunction when you are ready to use it again.

To learn more, contact a company like HomeSmart From Xcel Energy with any questions or concerns you have.