How do I Clean my Outside AC Condenser?

First, if you want to clean your AC Condenser, it is important to understand the components of your AC & Heating system. You can read a quick explanations of the two most common types of systems in the Fort Worth area HERE, along with an explanation of the difference between a two part or three part system.

 

Now back to cleaning the AC Condenser. This is the outside appliance portion of your split system we talked about here. Don’t confuse this with the compressor or contactor or capacitor. AC systems have lots of words that start with the letter C and end in the -r- sound.

 

In this case, we only want the Condenser.

 

  • Go outside and find your Condenser. This item will be big and hard to miss. It usually sits on the side of your house but may at times be in the backyard.
  • Once you locate this, you will also notice a long thick cord and a little electrical control box sitting nearby where it goes into. This is the disconnect panel. There may be a breaker switch inside, a pull-able fuse, or a plastic tab like fuse. Either way, you pull or flip these and they will kill power to the AC condenser. It will not effect the other part of your systems. Your system can still receive commands from the thermostat. It just won’t be able to turn it in because you have pulled the disconnect so it can “turn over.” All it can still do is receive commands. And should you restore power to it, it will come right back on with the command it’s currently being given.
  • Keep this unit off and leave the disconnect out.
  • Take your water house and some simple green. IF you don’t have simple green then try to use a bottle of the stuff they sell at Lowes or Home Depot for cleaning condensers. They sell a foaming spray that you spray on and leave for about 10 minutes before rinsing off.
  • Spray the simple green on. Let it sit for about 10 minutes and then take your house and rinse it all off. You really can’t damage the components. They get rained on all the time. You can spray everywhere. Never use a pressure washer or high pressure hose because these can bend the fins and possibly pierce the copper.