How to Clean the Outdoor AC Unit
As the air outside gets warmer, you’ll prepare yourself to turn on the air conditioner to start blowing the cool air into your home. Before you can get to that point, however, you’re going to want to make sure your outdoor AC unit is in good shape. Because the unit is designed to bring in air through the blades, it has a habit of taking in debris like dead grass and leaves, which builds up within the unit. To get back its normal level of efficiency, you’ll need to clean the condensing unit.
As with all kinds of maintenance, you will want to find the circuit breaker and turn off the power to the condensing unit first. When this safety step is complete, you can unscrew the grill and take out the fan so that you can reach the fragile fins. Put on a pair of gloves and go foraging for any debris sitting inside the unit.
When all of the large chunks are out of the way, get a vacuum and gently pull up the small debris that you cannot manually grab. Use the lowest settings or else you risk damaging the fragile fins.
If you notice that there is mild damage to the fins, you can use a butter knife to straighten the bends. Any fins that are greatly damaged need to be replaced, and this will require the assistance of a repair professional.
While you’re in the unit, check the bottom for lubrication ports if you have an older model, which will need a couple of drops of electric motor oil. New models do not require this step as the bearings are sealed and lubricated just fine.
Next, get a damp cloth and carefully wipe clean the inside of the outdoor condensing unit. A garden hose can help you spray the fins, but remember to keep the pressure low to avoid damage.
For more on cleaning your outdoor AC unit, watch the video.