News & FAQ

How to Clean Your Condenser Coils and Clear Condensate Drain


Valerie Johannsen People & Brand Manager

Your air conditioning unit requires regular maintenance for the system to function correctly. Learn two essential air conditioning maintenance tasks you should be doing to keep your a/c running at peak performance – cleaning your condenser coils and clearing your condensate drain.

Here’s what you need to do to keep your A/C working through the summer:

Condenser Coils

Outdoor condenser coils can also become very dirty if the outdoor environment is dusty or if there is foliage nearby. You can easily see the condenser coil and notice if dirt is collecting on its fins.

Before starting your condenser coil cleaning project, turn off your air conditioner at its source – the breaker panel. Either flip the breaker switch or pull out the fuse to disconnect power.

The best way to minimize dirt and debris near the condenser unit is by cleaning the area around the coil, removing any debris and trimming foliage back at least 24 inches provides adequate airflow around the condenser.

After removing all of the debris, you can use your simple garden hose (with some pressure) to wash off the remaining dirt and debris, such as from lawn mower clippings and dryer vents. When you are done washing your outdoor heat pump down, you can turn the power back on. However, keep the power off if you are going to clear your condensate lines (keep reading!)

No need to dry off the unit; it will dry naturally.

By cleaning your condenser coils, you won’t have to worry about your unit overheating during these hot summer months.

Consider shading your unit with a strategically placed tree to save even more on your air conditioning bill.

Coil Fins

While cleaning your outdoor heat pump, you may have noticed some bent coils. In addition to the dirt and debris around your unit, bent condenser coil fins reduce airflow, making your unit run harder and longer than it has to.

Luckily, there is a useful tool called a “fin comb” that you can use to straighten out the coils. Before you purchase one, measure how many fins there are per inch on your unit.

Condensate Drains

Clogged condensate lines will keep your air conditioner from effectively reducing humidity levels and can result in discolored walls and carpets.

If your indoor air handler has standing or overflowing water in its condensate drain pan, learn how to unclog your condensate line with a wet/dry vac or stiff wire/surgical tubing.

For more detailed instructions for clearing your condensate drain, read these instructions by American Home Shield.

HVAC Professionals

When your air conditioner needs more than regular maintenance, hire a professional service technician. It is highly recommended that you schedule professional HVAC maintenance at least once a year. This will ensure that all potential problems are caught early, which will save you a lot on repairs and replacements in the future.

Professional HVAC maintenance also ensures that your manufacturer’s warranty remains in effect. The expert technicians at Service Legends will find and fix problems in your air conditioning system. We go through an extensive air conditioning maintenance checklist.

If your Air Conditioner breaks down during ONE FULL YEAR after one of our A/C Tune-Ups… we will not only refund the cost of your tune-up, We WILL fix it for FREE!!!

Now that you have been made aware of these popular myths, you can adjust your home cooling methods to be more cost-effective and energy-efficient.

Heating and Cooling Des Moines Since 1997

At Service Legends, we take pride in heating and cooling Des Moines and the surrounding areas. Our HVAC services include furnace and air conditioner installation, repairs, maintenance, and tune-ups. Our lineup of Indoor Air Quality solutions includes whole-home humidifiers, air purifiers, and air filtration systems. We can even help with HVAC financing.

Call 515-657-6634 to contact our Home Comfort Heroes today. We’re standing by 24/7.

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