How To Clean An Air Conditioning Condenser

Keep things cool and save cash by cleaning your AC condenser. Here's how.

Time

An hour or less

Complexity

Beginner

Cost

Free

Introduction

There's nothing worse then having your air conditioner fail in the sweltering summer. To prevent this, be sure your AC condenser is free of dust, dirt and other debris.

Tools Required

  • Cordless drill
  • Hose and spray nozzle
  • Screwdriver w/socket
  • Soft-bristle brush

 

Project step-by-step (5)

Step 1

Cut the Power

  • Disconnect the service at the AC condenser by pulling the plug connector in the power box, or flip the AC breaker switch off in your main breaker panel.

Testing a Circuit Breaker PanelFamily Handyman

Step 2

Remove the Screws

  • Use a cordless drill or screwdriver with a socket to remove the screws.
    • Pro tip: Have a container to put the screws in.

Step 3

Remove Panels

  • Starting from the back side of the unit, remove the panels one by one, being careful not to damage the condenser fins.
    • Pro tip: As you remove the panels, keep them in order so you remember how to put them back.

Step 4

Cleaning the Fins

  • Use a soft-bristle brush or a hose with a spray nozzle to clean the fins.
    • Pro tip: Always brush up and down, never side to side. And spray the water from the top, not straight on the fins.

Step 5

Re-install Panels

  • Re-install the panels in the reverse order you removed them. Use a screwdriver. Leave the screws loose until all the panels are in, then tighten the screws.
    • Pro tip: Depending on the unit, it may help to install the corner panels first before the flat panels.