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AC Cleaning Brush

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Updated April 12, 2022

When cleaning your evaporator coils, you may find it handy to use an AC cleaning brush. The best air conditioners need regular maintenance to keep them in peak operating condition. These brushes provide increased control over the pressure on your coils by putting you in charge.


  • AC cleaning brushes are designed to clean evaporator coils.
  • Without proper maintenance, dirt buildup may cause increased energy consumption and decrease the unit’s effectiveness.
  • If you cannot get your coils clean, contact a service specialist.

Read on to find out why you should consider using a cleaning brush to clean your coils and how to do so. Additionally, you should know that dirty air conditioning coils may be one reason that your AC has no power.

Why Use an AC Cleaning Brush

While an AC cleaning brush provides you with greater control, it also avoids having to use any harsh chemicals and liquids on your unit. But, of course, you may still have to use these if you can’t remove all the dirt.

When cleaning your air conditioning unit’s coils, avoid using wire brushes or those with hard bristles. Wire brushes and hard bristle brushes can damage the fins on your AC, making it work less well. If you notice bent fins, you may be able to straighten them with a fin comb. Also, check out our article on window AC unit maintenance.

Effects of Dirt Buildup

If your evaporator coils get too dirty, the AC may have trouble running and experience a decrease in effectiveness, to the point that it may appear that your AC is not running at all. In addition, the dust and dirt can increase wear and tear on your unit if it isn’t cleaned off. You might have higher energy costs because the product consumes more power. Some of these problems rely on the condition of various components, including the filter.

Insider Tip

An AC cleaning brush lets your control how much pressure is applied so as not to damage your evaporator’s coils.

You should clean your AC regularly or schedule maintenance if you aren’t comfortable cleaning it yourself to avoid these issues. For example, evaporator coils should be cleaned roughly every three months during warmer periods. However, you may want to check them for dirt every month if you notice a lot of build-ups.

Using an AC Brush to Clean Your Coils


Turn off your air conditioning unit. You should not service or clean your machine while electricity runs to the device. If you do, you may hurt yourself or damage the product.


Loosen and remove the screws or nuts holding the panel on the side of your AC, called the access panel. Then, pull the access panel away from the product.

STEP 3 Scrub the coil components, pushing away dirt buildup. If you need to brush harder in certain spots, avoid damaging your AC unit’s fins. However, you may need to schedule service if you cannot remove all the dirt.

Other Methods for Cleaning

If you want to try other methods for cleaning your evaporator coils, here are some additional ways you can. However, remember that some or all of these processes could damage your item if not performed correctly.

  • Compressed air cleans outdoor condenser coils only. If you try to use it on evaporator coils, you may end up with dust inside your house. Spray the compressed air against the established airflow with the nozzle near the dirtiest part of the item. Wear eye protection to avoid getting dust in your eyes.
  • Commercial cleaners in a spray bottle designed for coil cleaning can be bought for home use. In addition, foaming cleaners are widely available. Ensure you read the instructions before using them. Then follow the instructions and use a soft cloth to wipe the dirt off.


Some methods for cleaning evaporator coils can damage your AC, so be very careful which method you use.


What are AC coils or evaporator coils?

The coils on an AC unit control the heat that enters and exits the device.

What happens if I don’t clean dirty AC coils?

If you don’t clean dirty AC coils, your air conditioner won’t work as well. Your device will also use additional energy to cool the space.

Can I use a brush to clean my AC coils?

You should only use a specially designed AC coil cleaning brush to clean your coils.

STAT: Overall, you can assume an air conditioner with dirty coils will consume almost 40 percent more power than one with clean coils. (source)