Introduction: Air Conditioner Coil Cleaning (easy Way)
Cleaning the air conditioner coil is not hard. but it can be dangerous. follow these steps to help your self.
1. turn off the power to the unit.
2. have a friend nearby just in case
3. take it slow, think about what you are going to do next
ok with that out of the way lets get started. Tools you will need are pretty basic. these tools will change depending on what unit you have. but if you have a basic set of tools you should be fine.
A little word on the cleaner Vinegar mixed at 50/50 with water is a great cleaner it wont damage your system. but it smells bad. I use a foaming cleaner. it has a lemon sent and also helps remove smells from the duct work. what ever you use make sure it says safe for coils. harsh chemical cleaners can destroy the fins or the copper lines. if that happens you get to buy a new coil. and they are not cheap
THE BEST ADVICE I CAN GIVE IS IF YOU ARE NOT COMFORTABLE DOING THIS, THEN DONT AND HIRE A PRO.
flash light , impact driver (nut driver, ), your cleaner ( whatever works for you ) do not use harsh chemicals. make sure it wont damage your system. metal tape (foil tape ) a cleaning brush ( not too stiff if it is too stiff it will damage the fins) may need a shop vac
Nu-Calgon 4171-75 Evap Foam No Rinse Evaporator Coil Cleaner, 18 oz this is the cleaner i use
Step 1: Step 1 Locate Your Coil
start by removing the front cover of the inside unit ( air handler ) . my coil is at the bottom of the unit. you need to look for two copper lines. one fat one one skinny one. be very careful around these lines. they contain the refrigerant. you may also have a plastic line coming out of the area where the coil is. this is the drain line. it will either run out side or some where else . once you have found the the coil. now you can start removing the cover plate. I put a pic of what mine looks like to help you find it.
Step 2: Step 2 Removal of the Cover Plate
The cover plate may have foil tape to seal the joints . pull the tape off under the tape there may be screws that hold the plate in place remove the screws and dont loose them. my plate has a smaller plate around the copper lines. if yours does too be very careful removing it. if you hear a hissing noise it is too late. time to call a hvac guy. once the plate is out of the way you can see the whole coil. now it is time to get cleaning
Step 3: Step 3 Dry Cleaning
Now that you have the coil exposed. take your brush and try to remove as much as you can. try not to let it fall into the duct work. this is where a shop vac comes in handy. compressed air can be used if you have access. just blow the dirt from the other side. whatever you use just be carful. once you get that done time to move on to the next step.
Step 4: Step 4 Wet Clean
Now is the time you can use either the vinegar and water or the spray cleaner. this step is simple. for the vinegar method spray it on let it set, rinse, repeat if necessary. a pump sprayer from the hardware store will work great. just make sure it is clean.
For the foam method follow the directions on the can. which is shake well, spray on coil, cover coil with foam all over. and you are done. now you know why i like the foam method.
with that done time to finish up and start to put it back together
Step 5: Step 5 Put It Back Together
OK now put all the covers back on the same way they came off. REMEMBER be CAREFUL . make sure you use the screws that was in it a longer screw may hit the coil. once all the screws are back in and the panels are correct. time to seal the joints. every joint will have to be sealed with the foil type. every seam has to be done. if you miss one there is a chance it will whistle at you when the air is back on( trust me it about drove me nuts trying to find it) after all the joints are sealed put the front covers back on and turn the unit on.
Step 6: Step 6 Clean Up
last step is easy clean up all the old tape and trash. i wont name any group of people that are terrible about cleanup( cough Sparkys cough ) sorry had to all in fun though