D.I.Y. Air Conditioner Cleaning to Keep it Running Efficiently

by | Repairs & Advice

01 mosby clean AC

During a St. Louis summer, your air conditioner works overtime, and every time the cooling kicks on the outdoor condenser unit (shown above) sucks in air – and everything in the air.

The condenser pulls in lawn clippings, dust, leaves and all manner of seeds and debris from surrounding flowers and trees. This debris eventually coats the condenser fins (the metallic screens that surround the compressor fan) which blocks the airflow and compromises the unit’s efficiency.

Mosby strongly recommends having an HVAC professional perform a thorough cleaning of the entire air conditioning system (the coil, which is part of your furnace system, and the condenser) before the heat season begins. But in the middle of summer, it’s a good idea to check the state of the condenser fins, and give them a cleaning, if needed.

If you see the fins covered with debris, there’s a quick fix to keep the unit at peak performance. Here’s a pictorial guide on how to perform maintenance on your air conditioner condenser:

02 mosby clean AC

Turn off the power to the condenser unit at the outdoor electrical shutoff located near the unit. Use the appropriate tool to remove the exterior access panels covering the condenser fins.

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Ewwww. Here we have condenser fins completely covered with dust and lawn debris, which severely blocks the amount of air intake needed to power the A/C.

04 mosby clean AC

Grab your garden hose, set it to the highest pressure and starting from the top and working down, hose off that sludge.

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Hosing off the debris should leave you with a clean condenser fin. While you’re at it, also give the cover plate a quick shower. And then reinstall the cover plate, turn the power back on, and rest easy knowing your air conditioner has returned to operating at peak performance (your energy bill will thank you!).

If you’d like help with this type of air conditioner cleaning – or any other form of home maintenance – Mosby is here to help with our handyman service.  Call the Mosby office at 314.909.1800 or contact us here.