Is it necessary to clean ac outdoor unit?

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So, is it necessary to clean ac outdoor unit s? Find out in this guide

Well, keeping your outdoor AC unit sounds like an unnecessary and difficult task.

After all, why bother if it keeps your house super cool, right?

Well, if that’s what you have been thinking, then you are definitely wrong.

As you will see shortly, regular cleaning of your AC unit has bucketloads of benefits, to you, the user.

In this post, I will take you through why it’s necessary to always make sure that your outside AC unit is clean.

You will want to stick with me to the end as I will also take you through the steps of cleaning your outside AC unit.

Let’s dive in.

Is it necessary to clean ac outdoor unit?

Short answer: Yes. And I should add that it is extremely important that you clean your outside ac

You see, due to their location, outdoor AC units are exposed to a lot of dust, leaves, and other debris.

Imagine how much dust and other debris will accrue in these units after, say 1 year.

Now, what about after 5 years?

It can be insane…

This raises the question, why is it important to clean outdoor AC units?

Allow me to explain…

Why cleaning outdoor ac unit is important

Maintaining a clean outdoor AC unit has some serious upsides.

Here are a few:

Saves on your power bills

First, you will be able to save on your energy bills.


Well, dirty air conditioners generally consume more power as they are forced to work harder.

This is because the accrued dust and debris could clog many moving parts of your AC unit.


Boosts air circulation

Air conditioners do more than just cool your home; they also help in air circulation.

And the thing is dirty AC units are perfect breeding grounds for organisms such as bacteria, fungi, and myriad germs.

So when you turn on your AC, these organisms will be blown into your room, contaminating your air and exposing you and your loved ones to horrible respiratory infections.

I am sure that with these few reasons, you will definitely agree with me that it is indeed necessary to clean your outdoor AC unit once in a while.


How often should you clean your outside ac unit

Depending upon conditions, you should clean your outside AC part at least 2x yearly.

I will tell you what to use to clean your outside condenser below


What to use to clean outside ac unit

You will need the following:

  • Water hose
  • Coil cleaner
  • Screwdriver


How to clean outdoor unit ac

We shall break the cleaning process of AC units into two categories.

Depending on the location of your AC unit, you may be able to access it using a water hose.

However, at times, you are not in a position to use a water hose.

If that is so, then don’t worry as you can still clean the unit using an alternative method I will explain after I show you the simplest way: using a water hose.


How to clean outside ac unit with water hose (how to clean ac outdoor unit with water)

*Wear gloves

Power it off

First, you need to turn off power to your air con- you don’t want to risk electrocution or electrical shorts during the cleaning process.

To power off the AC unit, locate the circuit box that is next to the unit.

Pop it open and switch the power button off.

If you can’t locate the circuit box, you will want to search for it in the garage or basement of your house.


Remove any lodged leaves or debris on the cover of the AC unit

In case there are any lodged leaves or debris on the cover of the AC unit, now is the perfect time to remove them.

Once you have done this, using your screwdriver, ply open the outside AC unit.

This will grant you access to the internals such as coils, filters, and other parts that need to be cleaned.

If you note any big lodged debris, use a brush(soft) to scrub them off.


Spray foaming coil cleaner

Since you want a super-clean AC unit, use a foaming coil cleaner such as the Nu-Calgon Evap Foam cleaner.-  it  helps in breaking down the dirt, grease, oil, and other stubborn residues so that they can be easily washed off.

Just spray the foam cleaner onto the coils of the AC unit  – and be sure to cover the length of each coil entirely.

Once you’re done spraying the coils, leave for about 10 minutes for the foam cleaner to do its magic.


Use a water hose to wash off all the nasty stuff

Now, using your water hose(just run a hose all the way to your AC unit), lightly spray water at your AC unit to wash off the dirt.

You start spraying at the top of the AC unit while going back and forth along the edges.

That way, you will wash off all the dirt and grime from your AC unit.

Once done with the top part, carefully spray all your sides again while making sure you keep going back and forth for an extra shiny cleanse.

When spraying the sides, spray at different angles to wash off even the fine particles.

Of course, the main drawback of spraying with a garden hose in one direction is that it won’t wash all things off.

Finally, spray the bottom part.

That’s all when it comes to hosing off ac unit- your air condenser is probably all good at this point so allow it time to dry before turning the power back on.


How to clean outside ac unit without a hose

So what happens if you do not have a hose?

Well, you will use a vacuum cleaner here-  

Just keep in mind that not all vacuum cleaners can be used to clean AC units-Some are just too heavy for you to lift.

That’s why you need a lightweight hence portable vacuum cleaner such as the Amor Gallon Utility Vacuum cleaner.


You first vacuum the top of the AC unit, going back and forth along the surface of the unit.

Then, once done with the top, do the same for all the sides of the unit, finishing with the bottom part.

That’s it!


Side note:

A vacuum cleaner won’t always get to all the crevices of your unit so your AC might not be as sparkling as when you use a water hose.

That said, the vacuum cleaner still does a respectable job.


A word on cleaning ac coils with power washer

You should never use a power washer on your AC unit.

But why is pressure washing condenser coils a bad idea? You may ask.

The reason is power washers will damage the delicate coils on the AC so just use a hose.

In fact, just placing your thumb to cover a portion of your hose pipe generates a good stream to wash off the dirt.


Is it necessary to clean ac outdoor unit – FAQs

Can we wash ac outdoor unit with water?

Short answer: Yes.

Unlike many electrical appliances, when it comes to AC units, you can use water to clean them without anything bad happening to the AC.

You just have to make sure it has dried completely before turning power back on.


What can i use to clean my ac condenser coils?

Foam cleaner+ water (spray gently with a hose)


Is it necessary to clean ac outdoor unit – Recap

Over time, outdoor AC units accrue dust, grease and other debris since they’re located outside.

For that reason, it is important to clean your outside AC unit, at least 2x yearly- and as we have seen, you can use either a water hose(plus a coil cleaner) or a vacuum cleaner.


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