Use air conditioning coil cleaner to clean the indoor evaporator and outdoor condensing unit if your air conditioner is not as cool as before. If you have been taking out the filters of your room air conditioner regularly for washing, chances are you may not need to use coil cleaner to get rid of the dirt and dust. However, you may one day need to clean the coils when you see dirt and dust stuck to the fins and coils of your unit.

When your unit is not giving out the cooling that you wanted compared to when you first bought it, chances are that you need to clean the coil. You can do it yourself or call a technician if you are not sure. Clean the evaporator coil first before proceeding with the condenser.

Types of Air Conditioning Coil Cleaner

There are many types of coil cleaner in the market that you can get hold of. Some are dedicated for evaporator coil or the condensing coil. Try to get one that do not require you to rinse the coil after using it. Make sure they are not acidic or else they may damage the pipe or coil. Read the instructions carefully and ensure that they can be used for air conditioning applications.

Some of the coil cleaner in the market.

  • Nu-Calgon Evaporator Foam No Rinse Cooling Coil Cleaner is suitable to be used to clean the evaporator coil. This is one of the most popular coil cleaner in the United States.
  • Frost King Air Conditioner Coil Foaming Cleaner can also be used.
  • Source 1 Self Rinsing evaporator coil cleaner is another brand if you can’t get hold of Nu-Calgon.
  • QwikClean Foaming Coil Cleaner is alkaline based and is used to clean both the evaporator and condenser coils. It is also no-rinse type.
  • Mr McKenic brand also has coil cleaner in its range of products and is manufactured by a Singapore company.

Steps In Cleaning The Evaporator Coil

If you do not want to dirty yourself and the hassle of climbing to access the unit, call a qualified technician to do it. Most probably, the technician will dismantle the entire unit and bring it outside your house for a thorough cleaning.

  • Off Main Switch to the air conditioner to ensure that you will not get any electric shock in the event of malfunction or accidentally touching the live wire.
  • Remove Filters that are located at the front end the unit as you lift up its cover. Wash, rinse and dry them as you will need to place them back after cleaning the coil.
  • Place plastic or container underneath the unit as the dirt and foam will drip down from the evaporator. Remove any bed, chair or table away from the unit.
  • Spray Cleaner onto the surface of the fins thoroughly and leave it for 15-20 minutes. Foaming should happen and you will notice dirt and dust being removed from the fins.
  • Rinse and wipe the evaporator if dirt and residue remain in the fins.
  • Place Filters back to the unit before powering on the unit to make sure that it is working fine.
Editorial Contributors
Alora Bopray

Alora Bopray

Staff Writer

Alora Bopray is a digital content producer for the home warranty, HVAC, and plumbing categories at Today's Homeowner. She earned her bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of St. Scholastica and her master's degree from the University of Denver. Before becoming a writer for Today's Homeowner, Alora wrote as a freelance writer for dozens of home improvement clients and informed homeowners about the solar industry as a writer for EcoWatch. When she's not writing, Alora can be found planning her next DIY home improvement project or plotting her next novel.

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Roxanne Downer


Roxanne Downer is a commerce editor at Today’s Homeowner, where she tackles everything from foundation repair to solar panel installation. She brings more than 15 years of writing and editing experience to bear in her meticulous approach to ensuring accurate, up-to-date, and engaging content. She’s previously edited for outlets including MSN, Architectural Digest, and Better Homes & Gardens. An alumna of the University of Pennsylvania, Roxanne is now an Oklahoma homeowner, DIY enthusiast, and the proud parent of a playful pug.

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