Drippy Air Conditioning Unit? Give It A Good Cleaning With These Steps

10 January 2018
 Categories: Construction & Contractors, Blog

If your indoor air conditioning unit begins to drip water all over its closet, you might think the appliance is on its way out. Your indoor unit may simply need a good cleaning. Throughout summer, indoor units build up with dust. Some of the dust can clog up the triangular-shaped coil inside the unit and block it. Any condensation that forms on the coil's surface can drip out onto the floor and dampen up the closet.

If you clean the unit's coil and housing, you may be able to solve the problem above. Here are two steps to get your indoor unit clean and what you can do if the cleaning doesn't help.

Clean the Housing

The indoor unit is comprised of an evaporator coil, an air filter, a condensation drip pan, and a drainage line. These parts and others sit inside a large casing called an air handler. The air handler can fill up with dust and cobwebs during the year. Although the air filter catches, filters, and prevents most of the debris from flowing into the evaporator coil, some debris can slip past it. This debris sticks to the inside of the air handler.

First, turn off your air conditioner at its power source. Next, carefully remove the access panel or door from the air handler, then use a vacuum to suction out the debris. Also, take a damp rag and wipe down the internal surfaces of the air handler. 

While the air handler dries, you can clean the evaporator coil inside it.

Clean the Coil

You'll need to fill a large spray bottle with white distilled or household vinegar. Place a large mat or absorbent blanket beneath the air handler. Although vinegar is strong enough to clean clogged coils, it can stain or discolor some fabrics.

Now, follow these steps:

  1. Spray down the coil until it's thoroughly saturated with vinegar.
  2. Allow the vinegar's acid to break down the debris. If the coil is exceptionally dirty, the vinegar's color may appear dark and soiled.
  3. Fill a second spray bottle with plain water.
  4. Spray down the coil until the water runs clear. Repeat this step several more times.
  5. Allow the coil to dry, then replace the access door to the unit.

Return power to your air conditioning system. You may need to wait a few days to see if the unit stops dripping water. The exact time may vary, so keep an eye out on the flooring inside the closet. If the closet remains dry, you've completed the job.

If the closet's flooring appears wet, contact an air conditioning specialist or a company like Norris Mechanical for further assistance. You could have a clogged condensate line or leak somewhere in the system.