Tip & How-To about Heating & Cooling

Condenser Coil Cleaning Condenser Coil Cleaner

One of the most important things to maintaining a highly efficient Air Conditioner is keeping the condenser coil clean. To make your condenser coil cleaning as easy as possible you need to know what to use to clean your coil.

There are a number of different things that can be used to clean your condenser coil. It does not matter whether you are cleaning a central air conditioning unit or a window air conditioning unit. What does matter is the type and location of the coil and the amount of dirt that is in the coil.

When looking at the type of coil cleaner to be used, make sure that the chemical being used is compatible with the type of metal that the coil is made out of. Some chemicals and certain metals do not get along well and should be avoided.

Also, if you condenser coil is severely plugged then a foaming type coil cleaner is a must have item. If the condenser coil just needs to be washed down and is not completely plugged then a mild detergent may be just the tool needed to do the job.

For many units that have regular cleanings, a good quality detergent similar to what you use to wash your car, will work just fine. The main object of the cleaning is to remove the dust, dirt, and grime from the coil to promote better air flow through the coil. If the coil is just plugged with grass or dandelion seeds them a simple hosing off with the water hose may do the trick.

If a foaming cleaner is need to clean a neglected or very dirty coil then look up your local heating and air conditioning supply house and purchase a coil cleaner specifically for cleaning condenser coils. Most of these products are for professional use only and care is needed when using and handling these products.

Condenser coil cleaning can be done by the homeowner if proper care is taken and it will keep you air conditioning unit running great whether it is a central air conditioning unit or a window air conditioning unit. Once you know what to do and how to do it you may find that you will be cleaning your condenser coil a number of times a year to insure top performance from your unit.
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my air conditioner dwc 084 rl model does not work well, can not maintain a temperature below 70


The air is cool but doesn't seem cold enough If the air doesn't seem cool enough it is necessary to use a thermometer to check the difference in temperature between the air going into the unit and the air being blown into the room. Ideally, the temperature difference should be more than 15 degrees. For example, if the temperature going into the air conditioner is 80 degrees, the temperature coming out of the unit should be at least 65 degrees or less. If the difference is 15 degrees or more there is probably no cause for concern. If the temperature difference is less than 15 degrees you should check the following:
  • Air damper
Check to make sure the air damper is closed. If it's open, it will bring in outside air and reduce the efficiency of the unit.
  • Back cover
During the winter season many people cover their air conditioners to protect the unit from the weather. In the spring or summer they will sometimes forget to remove the cover. If your unit has a cover on the outside portion of the air conditioner remove the cover first.
  • Condensing coils
The condensing coils will always be on the "warm" side of the air conditioner. That is, on the side that faces outside of the room to be cooled. Air is drawn into the back of the air conditioner on the sides through vent slots and is blown directly out through the condenser coils. If the coils get clogged with lint, dust and dirt the cooling system cannot provide the cooling necessary. To clean the coils it will be necessary to remove the entire cover of the air conditioner or pull it out of the wall to gain access to the coils. They can be cleaned by blowing compressed air at them or by using a soft bristle brush to wipe the dirt off. It is important to also clean any dirt or lint build-up in the bottom of the air conditioner so the condense water will be picked up by the condensing fan slinger properly.

It could also mean that you are trying to cool too big an area for the size of the unit.
AREA TO BE COOLED / CAPACITY (BTU/HR)

100 to 150 square feet = 5,000
150 to 250 square feet = 6,000
250 to 300 square feet = 7,000
300 to 350 square feet = 8,000
350 to 400 square feet = 9,000
400 to 450 square feet = 10,000
450 to 550 square feet = 12,000
550 to 700 square feet = 14,000
700 to 1000 square feet = 18,000

Jul 22, 2011 | Daewoo Heating & Cooling

1 Answer

Cleaning Air Conditioner Condenser Coil with Pictures


Nice Tip. I like to use acid coil cleaner called Brite Alum. But that is just me. Very nice tip indeed!

May 15, 2011 | Heating & Cooling

1 Answer

Why isn't my Sunbeam Window A/C blowing hard on high?


If the air doesn't seem cool enough it is necessary to use a thermometer to check the difference in temperature between the air going into the unit and the air being blown into the room. Ideally, the temperature difference should be more than 15 degrees. For example, if the temperature going into the air conditioner is 80 degrees, the temperature coming out of the unit should be at least 65 degrees or less. If the difference is 15 degrees or more there is probably no cause for concern. If the temperature difference is less than 15 degrees you should check the following:

  • Air damper

Check to make sure the air damper is closed. If it's open, it will bring in outside air and reduce the efficiency of the unit.

  • Back cover

During the winter season many people cover their air conditioners to protect the unit from the weather. In the spring or summer they will sometimes forget to remove the cover. If your unit has a cover on the outside portion of the air conditioner remove the cover first.

  • Condensing coils

The condensing coils will always be on the "warm" side of the air conditioner. That is, on the side that faces outside of the room to be cooled. Air is drawn into the back of the air conditioner on the sides through vent slots and is blown directly out through the condenser coils. If the coils get clogged with lint, dust and dirt the cooling system cannot provide the cooling necessary. To clean the coils it will be necessary to remove the entire cover of the air conditioner or pull it out of the wall to gain access to the coils. They can be cleaned by blowing compressed air at them or by using a soft bristle brush to wipe the dirt off. It is important to also clean any dirt or lint build-up in the bottom of the air conditioner so the condensate water will be picked up by the condensing fan slinger properly.

Aug 16, 2009 | Sunbeam SCA052MWB1 Thru-Wall/Window Air...

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