It is vital that AC units are completed by a professional HVAC technician at least once a year. However, there are a few DIY tricks that homeowners can use in between these regular services. One such trick includes cleaning your condenser coil. This is quick and easy, but it will go a long way in maintaining your AC unit. 

Why Should You Clean Your Condenser Coils?

Over time, dirt, dust, and dander clog up your condenser coil and prevent proper airflow. Reduced airflow can cause more severe problems that damage your air conditioner permanently. In addition to the long-term effects, dirty condenser coils lower the efficiency and effectiveness of your air conditioning unit. A dirty condenser coil may lead to a leaking AC unit. You can even prevent frequent AC repairs.

How to Clean Your AC Condenser Coil

First Things First – Before You Start Cleaning

The condenser coils can be found behind the condenser fins or access panels. Be sure to switch your AC unit off on your thermostat and your AC’s circuit breaker before you begin. 

Compressed Air

Compressed air is great to get the dirt off your condenser coils. Be sure to aim the air compressor nozzle in the opposite direction that air flows through your unit. For your own safety, wear goggles to protect your eyes. Remember to remove the dirt once it has been blown off by the compressed air. 


A brush is useful for removing small amounts of dust and debris. You can brush the coils lightly or scrub them if it is necessary. Ensure that the brush has soft bristles to prevent damaging the condenser coil and fins.

Water and Detergent

Mix a mild detergent with water in a spray bottle to clean your AC condenser coils. Leave the water and detergent mixture on the coils for a few minutes so it can loosen the dirt and then wipe it with a soft cloth. 

Commercial Cleaners

If you were unsuccessful with removing the dirt with regular detergent and water, try using a commercial cleaner. Follow the mixing directions on the packaging and allow it to sit on the coils to loosen the stubborn dirt. This process may need to be done again until your condenser coils are clear of dirt.

Professional Cleaning 

If the dirt is stubborn and won’t come off with the above methods, contact a professional AC technician. They will have the proper equipment like pressure washers and steam cleaners. They may also need to remove parts of your air conditioner to get to the dirty components. Do not attempt to do this yourself as you may damage your AC unit. The last thing you need is a broken AC unit.

Replace Your Air Filters

Remember to check your air filters every 30 days and replace them if they look clogged up. However, do not leave them for longer than 3 months. Clean filters prevent dust and debris from collecting on the condenser coils. If you notice more dust on your furniture, you may need to replace your air filters.