Fort Lauderdale’s warm summer weather makes it perfect for enjoying outdoor activities. But when you’re ready to head indoors, you want your air conditioner to work its best. Regular cleaning and maintenance are part of keeping your air conditioning unit in peak condition. Some have wondered if they can use a pressure washer to clean their air conditioning unit.
Can You Use a Pressure Washer on Your AC Unit?
The short answer is no. If you use a pressure washer, you might damage your AC coil, which will cause your AC system to fail. There are other ways to clean your air conditioner that do not put it at risk of damage.
A pressure washer will measure pressure by psi (pounds per square inch). Pressure washers have a psi that ranges from 500 for a consumer model up to 50,000 psi for a professional model. A pressure washer with as little as 2,000 psi can strip the paint off a building. A pressure washer on the high-end may be used for industrial jobs involving large structures, like bridges and tall buildings.
Your air conditioner’s evaporator coil is made from steel, copper, or aluminum. These relatively thin coils are not designed to withstand much external force. The metals they are made from are selected for their ability to conduct heat quickly.
While it seems logical that the high water pressure produced by a pressure washer would be the best option to get rid of dust and mildew, you also risk damaging the AC unit’s condenser and evaporator fins. These fins are made from thin pieces of aluminum and will quickly bend or break if sprayed, even with a low-pressure pressure washer.
At Quality Air Of America, we have received countless service calls from homeowners who, with good intentions, have used a pressure washer on their AC unit. As a result, they saw visible signs of damage from the pressure washer or, when they turned their AC on, it didn’t work. Although using a pressure washer is not a good option for cleaning your AC unit, there are steps that you can take to keep your AC unit clean and in good working order.
Cleaning the Air Conditioner Fins
There are several maintenance tasks that Quality Air Of America recommends you leave to the professionals. Cleaning the fins is one of them.
Your air conditioner fins protect the AC unit from the weather and debris. They also move air around the unit to keep the AC running efficiently. Both the condenser and the evaporator have fins.
The condenser fins run along the exterior of your condenser unit. These fins help push warm air away from the unit while it is running. You want to keep these fins clean so that your AC unit works its best and consumes less energy.
The evaporator fins are set inside your AC unit around the evaporator. In most units, they create an A shape and are responsible for cooling outside air that is pushed through your home’s ductwork to cool your home. If the evaporator fins become dirty or clogged, the air that travels through your vents could be significantly warmer. As a result, your AC unit will need to use more energy and will do a poorer job of cooling your home.
As mentioned, the air conditioner fins are exceptionally delicate and are very easy to bend. If you bend or break them, such as by using a pressure washer, you are setting yourself up for a costly repair.
At Quality Air Of America, we recommend you have a professional inspect your AC unit two times a year. You should do so once during the spring and once during the fall. Additionally, having your unit serviced at least once a year is good to check for any signs of deterioration, mold buildup, refrigerant leakage, or electrical issues. If we catch these issues early, they are usually simple and relatively inexpensive to fix. However, if problems are allowed to mature, the fix becomes more intensive and usually more expensive.
If I Can’t Use a Pressure Washer, Can I Use a Water Hose on My AC Unit?
Using a water hose to clean your AC unit might be okay. But even though cleaning the condenser unit yourself may seem easy, you could risk voiding the warranty. If you are in doubt or would like to have the peace of mind that comes from knowing that your system has been professionally cleaned and maintained, contact Quality Air Of America. We will be happy to clean, maintain, and repair your AC unit for you.
Digging into the interior components of your system to clean it, adjust it, or repair it is something that should be left to professionals. During a professional cleaning, our HVAC technicians at will do simple maintenance tasks to improve system airflow and overall performance.
During a professional check of your evaporator and condenser coils, steps are taken to ensure that they are not obstructed and clean while simultaneously ensuring that none of the delicate parts of the condensers are damaged.
Since the condenser unit is open for cleaning, it is a good time for professional technicians to review the refrigerant level. If you are losing refrigerant, it means that there is a leak, which could lead to a system breakdown. During a professional cleaning, our technicians are able to see if a leak needs to be repaired and if the refrigerant needs to be recharged.
One of the biggest dangers of using a pressure washer on your AC condenser is forcing water into the electrical components. During a professional cleaning, your unit’s electrical components are reviewed, tightened, and safely cleaned when necessary.
Once your unit is dry and the cleaning process is complete, our professionals will lubricate the fan and compressor motors and identify areas of potential mechanical stress that need to be addressed. If your unit needs the air filter to be replaced, we can do this task for you.
Sadly, many people with the best intentions try to clean their air conditioning unit on their own and accidentally end up damaging it. If you want the air conditioning system to last a long time and function well, it is worthwhile to invest in professional AC maintenance once or twice a year.
Reliable HVAC Services in Miami and Fort Lauderdale
At Quality Air Of America, we are proud to be a family-owned and operated business that values loyalty and trust. We are eager to go the extra mile to prove that your decision to contract us for your HVAC needs was correct.
We also offer indoor air quality testing and aerosol services to our valued customers. Our IAQ services include air duct sealing, dryer vent cleaning, and attic insulation.
As experts in HVAC, our services include air conditioner, furnace, and ductwork installation, repair, and maintenance. With years of experience behind us, we are confident that we can provide you with the best assistance for your heating and air conditioning repair and maintenance needs in the Miami and Fort Lauderdale area. Call the experts at Quality Air Of America today for a year-round service you can trust.