Condenser and Evaporator Cleaning
The best thing for homeowners to do is the cleaning tasks. It will keep the system operating more efficiently and reduce the chances of a problem.
Shut down the power to both the condenser and evaporator before doing any work. Then start the cleaning outside with the condenser.
- 1. Trim away any grass or bushes to help airflow past the coils.
- 2. Use a garden hose on a mist setting to wash away dirt, grass, and other debris on the coils. Be careful while cleaning the coils as they are very delicate and will bend under pressure. To access the inside of the unit you will have to remove the grate and fan on top. You won’t be able to move it far since it is wired into the condenser. Use a table or stool to set it on.
- 3. While waiting for the water to dry off, check the level of the concrete pad. Rebalance it by prying it up and adding pebbles underneath.
- 4. After the water has evaporated spray on a coil cleaner designed for air conditioners, available from a local hardware store. Wait as long as instructed by the product and then wash away with a garden hose (again, make sure it is on a mist setting).
- 5. Put the fan and grate back on top of the condenser.
The evaporator is more difficult to access, if it is possible. It is also not as crucial since it is typically much cleaner than the condenser. Making sure the HVAC Filter is replaced as a part of monthly maintenance should keep it clean. However, it is still good to clean it every year to prevent corrosion and prevent fungus in the drainpipe.
- 1. Remove the access panel and any insulation. Slide the evaporator out a little for easier access (i.e. make sure not to bend the tubes connected to the evaporator).
- 2. Spray on the same coil cleaner that was used earlier and let it set.
- 3. While waiting on the coil cleaner, dump a cup of bleach into the drain pan and scrub off any build up. Use some water to flush it down the drainpipe. This is very important in humid areas where fungus growth can block the flow of condensation from the evaporator and cause flooding. It is recommended that drain pan and drainpipe be cleaned monthly in humid environments.