How to clean the outer unit of your air conditioner?

Since it’s the summer season, an increasing number of people are relying on air conditioners for comfort. However, not all homeowners focus on the cleanliness and maintenance of their air conditioning unit. In specific, the outer unit of an air conditioner requires timely inspection and maintenance for proper functioning. Otherwise, it reduces the efficiency of the air conditioner to a great degree. This is what all air conditioning companies will tell you.

Before getting into the cleaning part, let us look at some of the problems that a dirty condenser unit can cause.

Different problems due to dirty condenser unit

The condenser and compressor are in the outer section of an HVAC unit. The fins on a condenser help with heat transfer and work more like a vehicle’s radiator. Furthermore, a condenser’s fan helps blow the air on the outdoor coils which allow releasing heat energy outdoors.

If your condenser is blocked with dirt, it will take your air conditioner a lot longer to reduce the temperature indoors. It is like wearing a warm blanket during a hot season, resulting in your body taking a lot longer to cool down. Hence, timely cleaning of a condenser unit is key to maintaining the health of your air conditioning unit.

How to clean an outer unit of an air conditioner?

The tools that you require for cleaning an outer unit of the air conditioner include a coil cleaner, a vacuum cleaner with soft attachments for brushing, a water hose, some eye protection, work clothes, and work gloves.

Make sure that the air conditioner is disconnected from the main before you start the cleaning process. Then turn off the thermostat on your air conditioner. Now wear gloves and open the outer unit of the air conditioner. Using gloves, scrap off any larger chunks of dirt and debris that you can find.

Use a vacuum cleaner on the lowest settings with a brush attachment to brush off the dirt from the vacuum fins. Make sure that no fins get bent otherwise the efficiency of your air conditioner will reduce. Use a coil cleaner on the outside of your unit by spraying it all over. Before cleaning it, wait for 10 minutes so that the dirt gets properly dissolved.

Make sure that you are cleaning the outer unit of your air conditioner at least once a year. Doing this will ensure the proper functioning of your HVAC unit. The same applies to other types of HVAC units as well such as heat pumps.

Keeping your air conditioner energy efficient

Remember that cleaning the air conditioner’s outer unit is just one of the many tasks that you must do for maximum efficiency. You should also regularly clean the filters in the internal unit of your air conditioner. Sometimes, blockages in these filters can also cause problems with airflow.

Over time, if the dirt and debris keep on building, your air conditioner will be at the risk of a shutdown. It could result in one or more of the internal components getting burned due to high thermals. That is something you want to avoid unless you want to spend a significant amount of money on repairs.


We hope that you now understand how important it is to regularly clean the outer unit of your air conditioner. It is best advised to seek the help of professionals who understand HVAC units inside out.

Your best bet would be to look for a good air conditioning service repair McLean company. Ask around for referrals or check reviews around to find any decent companies in your area. Getting help from professionals can often save you a lot of trouble.

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