Air conditioners are some of the most appreciated systems out there. When you live in a hot weather area, sweating all the time and feeling too warm can create discomfort and distract you from your daily activities. Air conditioning can help with that as it releases cool air – but it can only be efficient if you make sure to clean its coils regularly.
Did you know that the cleaner the coils of the air conditioner, the better its performance is going to be? You need to regularly provide maintenance for them, as it will help the equipment run smoothly and offer the results you’re looking for. Luckily, you can keep them clean with an air conditioner coil cleaner.
If you want to choose the best air conditioner coil cleaner to keep your unit working all the time, then keep on reading the following paragraphs. You will find a few AC coil cleaner reviews and a guide with everything you need to know.
What Is an Air Conditioner Coil Cleaner?
An air conditioner coil cleaner is a substance meant to clean your coils and remove any dirt, dust or lint that’s tarnishing their surface. They usually come in little bottles, and the substance can be sprayed directly on the affected surface. The cleaner will dissolve the dirt or loosen it so it can be wiped off easily, thus improving the performance of your air conditioner.
What Happens If the AC Coils Are Dirty?
Various things could happen if you leave your AC coils dirty. First of all, the unit won’t perform as well as it should, because dirt will decrease its power and thus there will be less fresh air to enjoy when you need it the most. Because of this, the unit may also become noisier and therefore annoy you whenever it’s operating.
Due to inefficient performance, your energy bills could increase, considering that air is unable to circulate, and you will have to set it to use more power. Dirty coils could also lead to you having to deal with reparation costs. Since the AC is unable to operate the right way, it will be affected and may start malfunctioning over time.
In addition, it can cause unpleasant odors when the AC is turned on. Due to potential dirt or grease on the coils, the air blown by the AC will smell quite bad, making you reluctant to use it.
This is why an air conditioner coil cleaner is needed, so you don’t have to deal with any of these horror scenarios.
The Importance of Air Conditioning Coil Cleaning
You may be wondering why your air conditioning coils need regular cleaning. After all, won’t they be able to operate the same way, even if they are dirty?
Well, in reality, dirty coils will greatly affect the performance of the unit and the air inside your house. Even though you think that the AC filter works to keep the purity of the air, it actually works to keep the inside components free of dust, dirt, debris, or anything or the sort. This is why you should also clean or replace your filters.
If you don’t want to inhale any bad odors whenever the AC is operating, then do your best to clean the coils. Also, there is another reason why cleaning your coils is so important. Basically, dirty coils will cause your AC to struggle to draw enough heat. Dirt will block the way for the air to come out, which is why the AC will encounter difficulty when trying to do so.
That being said, not drawing enough air will cause the AC to force itself to get more air and will risk damaging the system. It can be very harmful. Coil fins are quite delicate, so it’s better to not overwork them.
In addition to this, working overtime will also increase your electricity bills, and you don’t want that to happen for sure.
Cleaning your air conditioning coils will prevent all of these disasters from happening. Thus, you’re also making sure that your unit is properly maintained and offers you a long-lasting experience. It will work more efficiently and not generate any bad smells either.
How Does Cleaning AC Coils Improve the Performance?
Cleaning your air conditioner coils will pretty much get rid of that layer of dirt that forms on its surface after a while of being used. How to tell when you need AC coil cleaning, though? In general, when there’s too much dirt on the coils, the unit will struggle to blow enough air to cool your home. Given the system will be forced, it will decrease in efficiency over time and thus risk malfunctioning.
Cleaning your air conditioner coils will make sure the AC is always maintained properly and doesn’t have to struggle to do its job. The air will be blown with the proper intensity and will not have to operate overtime to cool off the room.
So, whether you have the best through the wall air conditioner, a sliding window AC or any other type even the Smart Wifi AC’s, you should clean it regularly to make sure it doesn’t have a hard time transferring and absorbing heat.
Best Air Conditioner Coil Cleaners Comparison Chart
Nu-Calgon Evap Foam No Rinse Evaporator Coil Cleaner
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WEB WCOIL19 Coil Cleaner
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Frost King ACF19 Air Conditioner Coil Foam Cleaner
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Lundmark Coil Cleen
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ComStar Coil King Professional Grade Coil Cleaner
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ComStar Coil Safe Professional Grade Coil Cleaner
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Air Conditioner Coil Cleaners (Updated List)
1. Nu-Calgon Evap Foam No Rinse Evaporator Coil Cleaner
You’ll be happy to own this coil cleaner. What we really liked about this product was the fact that it’s safe to use on metals and many other materials, because it’s fortified with corrosion inhibitors. That being said, it won’t cause any damage.
Another thing that helps is the fact that it’s NSF registered to use as a coil cleaner around food processing areas. After being used, it will leave a pleasant lemon smell behind.
Its cleaning capabilities are also why we liked the product. It can loosen dirt and liquefy oil, grease, or anything of the sort with ease. So, if you want to see your coils clean, this cleaner might be right for you.
- It will loosen all kinds of dirt, even grease, and oil
- It smells nice
- Metals and other materials won’t be negatively affected by the substance
- Some people received faulty cans that wouldn’t spray any substance
2. WEB WCOIL19 Coil Cleaner
If your coils have a lot of dirt buildup on them, then this coil cleaner might help you get rid of it without too much trouble. It uses foaming action, which will help loosen dirt and make it easier to remove. This will help the AC work properly again, without blowing dirty air into the house.
One thing to appreciate is the biodegradable formula. It doesn’t create any fumes, meaning that it won’t be harmful to you or the environment. Besides, it will be easy to reach multiple spots while spraying it, thanks to the 360-spray nozzle. You can even hold the spray upside down, and it will still work.
- It doesn’t leave any harmful fumes behind
- The price is affordable
- It can remove dirt buildup easily
- It has a 360-spray nozzle for easy access in multiple dirty areas
- The foam spray isn’t too consistent
3. Frost King ACF19 Air Conditioner Coil Foam Cleaner
This Frost King product may be just what you’re looking for if you want a “friend” that always helps you remove dirt from your air conditioner’s coils. It’s able to clean not only the coils but also your reusable air filters and fan blades.
Moreover, it uses heavy-duty foam in order to properly loosen dirt, as well as eliminate oil and grease and dissolve stains. Isn’t that amazing? It is also able to get rid of any bad smells that occur due to accumulated water in drain pans. Also, in case your air conditioner has a mold smell, it won’t be a problem anymore as this product can get rid of it quickly.
- It can get rid of unpleasant odors
- Will loosen dirt very quickly
- Can also clean the reusable air filters and fan blades
- Some customers received their product without the spray nozzle
4. Lundmark Coil Cleen
Made in the USA, this is the product you should use if you want clean coils. In case your coils are dirty and could use some proper cleaning, then you might find this cleaner useful. It’s able to remove all accumulated dirt and help you have clean, properly functioning air conditioning coils.
We liked how easy it is to use. You just have to spray it on the surface, wait for the dirt to loosen, and rinse the substance off. It doesn’t even take long to do its job, so you will get to use your air conditioner not long after cleaning the coils. Another thing we appreciated was the fact that while the smell is strong, it’s not too irritating.
- It’s easy to use
- Will operate very quickly
- It comes for a good price
- The smell can be a little strong
5. ComStar Coil King Professional Grade Coil Cleaner
You should consider this ComStar coil cleaner if you want a product that you can use over a longer period of time. This substance is powerful and besides removing dirt build-up, it can also help you get rid of any dust, grease, and lint. Because of that, it will not only cause the unit to work much better, but it will make it less noisy as well.
One thing we noticed is that it can be diluted with 3 to 10 parts of water, and it will be very effective in doing what it’s supposed to do. It works both diluted and undiluted and will make sure no bad smells will come out of your air conditioner.
- It can work both diluted and undiluted
- Comes in a very big quantity
- It helps air conditioners work properly
- It may strip the protective coating off the coils
6. ComStar Coil Safe Professional Grade Coil Cleaner
In case you need to see your air conditioner’s coils shine bright like they used to, you can try this ComStar coil cleaner. This particular product comes in a quantity that’s high enough to make sure it will last for a while.
It’s a very effective formula against grease, ling, dirt, and dust. You just have to apply it to the affected surface, and there’s no need for rinsing either. One more thing to note is that the formula is safe for the environment, and it’s non-alkaline, non-acid, and has neutral pH.
The smell is not bad, but it’s not the best, either. It’s still easier to bear than the smell of dirt that would come out of your air conditioner if your coils weren’t maintained.
- It’s very easy to use
- The formula is eco-friendly
- It can remove dirt without requiring any rinsing
- Will make your air conditioner work better
- The smell isn’t the best
- May take a while to wash off the residue
Air Conditioner Coil Cleaner Buying Guide
Not all air conditioner coil cleaners are the same. You will find many different formulas on the market, or different brands, each with their own efficiency level. Because of that, you should know how to be prepared to approach your shopping spree and end up buying the right coil cleaner. That being said, below is a little buying guide to help you complete this task.
What to Consider When Buying an Air Conditioner Coil Cleaner?
Although AC coil cleaners are usually pricier compared to normal cleaning substances, you shouldn’t buy the most expensive one if you don’t have the cash. In general, the price should be decent, and the formula should be able to operate as effectively as ever.
Make sure to compare the price with the quality the substance has to offer.
Ease of Use
It’s important that the coil cleaner is easy to use and doesn’t cause too much trouble for you. You should be able to quickly apply the substance and not put in a lot of effort. Also, look if there is an additional sprayer included. This might help you apply the formula more precisely.
USDA authorization means that the product is safe to use near food. Basically, it shows that there is no toxic substance inside the cleaner, so you won’t have to worry about your health later on. Look for this feature if you want to make sure your food will be free of contaminants after using the coil cleaner.
A lot of people like it when their cleaning products can be used for multiple purposes. For example, while coil cleaners are specifically created to remove dirt, lint, or dust from your AC’s coils, there are some of them that can also clean reusable air filters. Having a multi-purpose cleaner for your AC will only make things easier for you, save you cash, and ensure that your unit will be maintained and free of problems.
Some coil cleaners may have chlorinated solvents, which aren’t good for your health or the environment. Sure, they are efficient when it comes to cleaning, but in the long run, they will harm the environment and your health in the process. If you can, look for an ozone-friendly product.
Main Features and Specifications of Air Conditioner Coil Cleaners
Sometimes, the dirt, grease, or anything else that accumulates on the coils will cause an unpleasant odor, and not even a ceiling fan will be able to always get rid of it. When all you want is some cool air, the bad smell could immediately make you want to turn the appliance off. But with the right coil cleaner, you could eliminate bad smells too. Some of them work in such a way that odors are immediately neutralized – so, look for these types of products.
Not every coil cleaner will be able to reach all areas of the coils, which is why you should look for a 360-degree coil cleaner. You can even use it upside down, thus being able to clean even some of the more hidden spots, for complete cleaning. Look for one of these if you don’t want to miss any corner.
Being biodegradable is an instant advantage for any coil cleaner because it means it is not harmful to the environment. You can spray it safely, without producing any fumes and without inhaling a poisonous substance.
Let’s be honest, nobody wants to deal with anything corrosive, particularly if they care about the aspect of their units. Some cleaning substances can be pretty corrosive – that’s why many people worry about using them.
But if you look for a product that has corrosion inhibitors, you don’t have to worry about using it on metal or any other material, because it will not cause bad reactions.
If you don’t want to spend a lot of time washing the coils and would rather spray the substance and call it quits, then look for a self-rising coil cleaner. As you can tell, it doesn’t require manual rinsing. It will rinse itself, keep your coils clean, after breaking through dirt, and removing anything that affects its surface and the AC’s performance.
Cleaning Condenser vs. Evaporator Coils
Evaporator coils are part of the air conditioner and they are responsible for absorbing heat, thus helping generate cool air. Inside the AC, this component can be found close to the blower fan, more specifically near the air handler.
Concurrently, condenser coils are where the absorbed heat is being released. The condenser helps the refrigerant with the amount of time it takes to blow air so that it can release the heat that was released from your house.
Both these coil systems need to be cleaned over time if you care about the performance of your AC. For instance, condenser coils will usually form debris on the fins, which might take the form of twigs, leaves, pet hair, or grass clippings. It’s bad for the efficiency of the AC.
So, you should regularly check it and clean it. Shut off the power of the whole unit, and clean the fins with a stiff brush, removing any potential debris buildup.
Meanwhile, if the evaporator coils are dirty, they will cause the AC to use more energy, build up ice, and even have a decreased cooling capacity. For this, you can use a coil cleaner to remove the dirt. If you want a more thorough job, you can have an expert deal with cleaning the coils.
How to Clean AC Coils?
It’s important to clean your AC coils regularly, but in order to do that, you must know how to do this job properly. Here are the steps you should take to care for your AC coils:
Gain Access to the Coils
First and foremost, you need to access your coils, so make sure to shut off the power to the unit to prevent unwanted scenarios from occurring. You can do that by opening the door on the box, where there should be a switch that you can flip and cut the power. Or with some units, you can simply unplug them.
Remove the AC’s Cover
Take a screwdriver so you can remove the screws and/or bolts that keep the unit in place. Afterward, you should be able to take the lid off and see the inside of the air conditioner. Make sure you have the right size for the screwdriver. It is usually mentioned in the instructions manual. You can simply use the cleaner on an AC unit pad.
Rid the Unit of Debris with Your Hands
Now that you can look inside the AC, you can check the coils for any huge bits of debris. In some cases, you can remove parts of it with your hands, so it will be easier to clean the leftovers later. Just don’t touch the fins or blades, as they can easily bend.
Apply a Foam Coil Cleaner
If you have a coil cleaner, take it, and apply it to the coils. If you have an outdoors AC, then do it after spraying the coils with water. Make sure the coils are entirely covered with the cleaning substance, so all debris can be removed.
Afterward, let the formula soak for about 5-10 minutes, so that dirt can be loosened and easily removed.
Unbend Coil Fins
In case you happened to bend the coil fins, you can take a fin comb and straighten them again. Usually, this tool is sold by air conditioner wholesale retailers, so you can keep your unit in shape.
Rinse-Off the Cleaner
Take a cloth to rinse off the cleaning substance from the coils. You can also rinse it off with the water hose if your AC is placed outdoors. You need decent water pressure to remove everything, but just make sure it’s not too strong either.
Assemble the Unit
When you’re done, you should put the AC back together, insert the bolts and screws, and put it back in its rightful place.
How Often Should AC Coils Be Cleaned?
Overall, your AC coils should be cleaned at least once a year. This will ensure that all the accumulated dirt will be eliminated. However, it’s recommended to check it more frequently, preferably every season in case you use it a lot, so you can make sure there are no problems with the coils.
1. Is it expensive to clean my AC coils?
It depends on how you choose to clean them. If you purchase a coil cleaner and do the job yourself, then the price can be between $5 and $50, or go higher, depending on the product. Meanwhile, if you want them cleaned professionally, it can cost between $100 and $300.
2. Can I pressure wash my coils?
In general, it’s not recommended to do this. While pressure washing in itself is effective, it can easily bend or flatten the fins, which will affect your AC.
3. Are AC coil cleaners safe to use?
They are because they are meant to clean the coils in the first place. However, you should always check the safety instructions, as some of them are harmful to the environment, or toxic if you inhale their fumes or they come in contact with your food. Check for NSF and USDA authorization for your peace of mind.
Not cleaning up your air conditioner’s coils could be damaging in the long run. You will have to invest in reparations, and you surely don’t want that. For that exact reason, you should rather invest in the best air conditioner coil cleaner.
Now that is possible because you’ve read our air conditioner coil cleaner reviews and buying guide. Just make sure to clean your coils regularly to prevent them from malfunctioning.