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Easy Steps To Comb An Air Conditioning Unit

Easy Steps To Comb An Air Conditioning Unit

Your AC’s fins may be bent. In addition to being ugly, bent fins put stress on your AC system. Efficiency suffers as a result of this stress. We have created an easy-to-follow guide on how to straighten out those fins in order to maintain the condition of your air conditioner.

You may clean an AC unit by doing the following simple steps:

  1. Look at the damage.
  2. Your condenser or evaporator’s fins per inch (FPI) should be measured.
  3. Get a fin tool with the appropriate head (matches the number of fins per inch).
  4. Turn the AC off.
  5. To reveal the condenser and evaporator fins, remove any covering.
  6. Utilize the tool to comb in the fins’ direction.

Now, you may certainly hire AC maintenance specialists, but that will be far more expensive than doing it yourself. If you want to do it yourself, keep reading to find out what to think about in order to avoid mistakes and produce a high-quality result.

Making AC Fins Straight

Easy Steps To Comb An Air Conditioning Unit

To clean your AC unit, abide by these instructions

1. Check The Damage To See The Problem With Crooked Fins

Evaporator and condenser are two components that are found in the majority of domestic air conditioners.

Evaporators are in charge of absorbing heat from your house, while condensers are in charge of discharging the acquired heat outside.

Both are coils with “fins” connected that are often made of copper. In order to promote heat transmission through the air moving through, the fins maximize surface area.

The lower surface area results in less heat transfer and air limitation if the fins are twisted, broken, or obstructed.

Your air conditioner will operate harder than usual, putting greater strain on its many parts, using more energy, and raising your power bills.

The good thing is that you can straighten the fins out even when they become bent. The fin tool is a simple tool that you can utilize. Soon, more on that.

2. Fins Per Inch Measurement

The number of fins found in an inch is known as FPI, or fins per inch. Finding the proper tool for the job requires knowing the FPI of your evaporator or condenser.

3. Buy A Fin Tool

This instrument, which is also known as a fin comb, resembles a comb. It comes in a variety of sizes and designs, with some emphasizing comfort and ergonomics while use. A few of them are small enough to put in a pocket.

Look for a fin comb that matches the FPI of your evaporator or condenser, regardless of appearance.

4. Turn Off The AC

Security first! Turn off the power supply to the components you’ll be working on to prevent electrocution. By unplugging it or turning off the circuit breaker, you can even turn off the entire system.

However, if you believe that doing so will turn your house into an oven, you should schedule this activity for a cooler time of year.

But don’t worry, the procedure won’t take very long. Although it won’t take much time out of your day, you can stop here and hire a professional if you’re worried it will (perhaps you have numerous air conditioners that require fixing).

This will be the ideal time to perform general AC maintenance.

5. To Reveal The Fins, Remove The Covering

Along with shutting off your air conditioner, clear the workspace of any obstacles.

Remove any fences you may have put up to keep pets away if your air conditioner is a split model with the condenser outside. To reveal the fins, unscrew and remove any protective covering that was included.

The evaporator hardly ever experiences stress that would cause the fins to become dented, therefore you most likely won’t need to make any repairs. Contrarily, the condenser is frequently exposed to things like flying branches from trees, dogs, cats, snow, hail, and harsh outdoor weather, making it more crucial to inspect the condenser.

It’s possible that nothing will need to be unscrewed to install some through-the-wall air conditioners. Simply slide out the filter to reveal the evaporator fins underneath.

On these models, the condenser is located on the rear; however, to access it, you must either take the unit out of the wall or go outside.

6. Utilize The Combing Tool

Your evaporator or condenser’s fins have “teeth” that the fin tool is designed to fit into. The teeth themselves aren’t very sharp, but the fins can be. Wear soft gloves with a firm grip to protect your hands from coming into close touch with the fins.

Utilize the tool to comb mostly up and down in a parallel way. Continue going back and forth until the kinks are removed.

You’ll notice the change, though it will be challenging to make them appear brand new. The fins ought to have room between them that may be seen.

You may check to see if the light gets through by shining a flashlight from behind. A small amount of light seeping through is a sign of good work.

This is also a great opportunity to clean the fins as they are exposed. Run the comb through every inch of the evaporator or condenser, including the areas that don’t appear to have any kinks.

By doing this, any debris that may have been lodged there for weeks, months, or even years, in some situations, will be removed.

How Are AC Condenser Fins Cleaned?

You have the chance to clean bent fins when you fix them, as was previously indicated. The resources you may employ include:


The first thing to do once the fins are revealed is to vacuum-clean them. In order to prevent accidently squishing fins sideways, vacuum in an upward and downward motion.

Fin Brush

Although the fin tool you use can also be used to remove debris, there is another useful instrument that is more appropriate for this job.

The fin brush has softer bristles and is similar to the palm-sized paintbrush commonly used to paint walls. It can be used frequently on those delicate fins for the sole purpose of cleaning them.

The bristles have enough grit to clear any airflow obstructions and enough flexibility to prevent denting of the fins.

Coil Cleaners

Coil cleaners for air conditioners are frequently found in hardware stores. These can be used to lightly cleanse the coils and fins after spraying on them and leaving them for around five minutes.

Do not spray the motor fan or other components of your AC because doing so could harm them. You can consult the AC manual or hire a professional to perform the cleaning and general maintenance if you’re unclear how to utilize these goods.

What Causes AC Fins To Bend?

Due to the typical material used—thin strips of aluminum—AC fins are easily bent. They are inexpensive and heat-conductive, however when any of the following happens, they are easily deformed:

If You’re Hosing Them In Your Backyard

Easy Steps To Comb An Air Conditioning Unit

Be careful not to use too much water pressure in addition to keeping the interior components dry. One of the most frequent reasons for bent fins is that.

Physical Damage

Easy Steps To Comb An Air Conditioning Unit

Your outdoor unit can avoid physical damage by being enclosed in a cage or having a fence built around it. By doing this, the most typical causes of physical damage to your condenser can be avoided.

Your outdoor unit can be protected from the elements by being enclosed. Just be careful not to fully enclose it. This might restrict airflow and promote the accumulation of moisture.

Can The AC Fins Be Replaced?

A fin comb can help straighten bent fins, but it won’t fix corroded or missing ones. If so, experts can replace the entire condenser fin assembly on your behalf. It’s advisable to give them a call before the summer because they’ll be busy then.

In Conclusion

While it may be challenging to identify or fix an AC on your own, replacing the fins is a simple method to make a big contribution to electricity bill savings. With our thorough explanation of how to properly clean your AC unit, we hope to have been of use to you.

Easy Steps To Comb An Air Conditioning Unit

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Written by HVAC Contributor

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