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can you pressure wash an air conditioner

Can You Pressure Wash an Air Conditioner?

If your outdoor air conditioner unit looks dirty and your home can’t stay cool in the summer, you might wonder, “Can you pressure wash an air conditioner?”

The short answer is: Yes, but you need to be careful to avoid damaging your AC coils.

As Canton’s AC maintenance experts, Green Energy Mechanical Inc., is here to answer the question and tell you everything you need to know about cleaning your AC. As long as you’re following the steps below, you can power wash your unit without risk of damage.

Cleaning Different Types of Air Conditioners

There are two types of air conditioners. A window unit provides air to one or two rooms, while an outside AC unit is for central air. The type of unit determines when and how often to clean it. If you’re looking for a new AC unit, learn about the Massachusetts Energy rebates and incentives available for upgrading to an energy-efficient AC.

Window AC Unit

These units are easier to clean because the evaporator coil and most electrical components are on the inside. This also means the unit doesn’t get dirty as quickly.

However, in some ways, window units are more fragile than outside units. It’s best to use a hose and cleaning solution to clean them. Make sure to unplug the window unit first to avoid damaging the electrical parts or shocking yourself. 

You can use mild soap and warm water and scrub with a toothbrush. Rinse gently with a hose or soft sprayer, or pour water over it with a cup.

Coil cleaning is the most delicate part of the process, so take extra care around these delicate components.

Outside AC Unit

These units are more powerful and provide central air for an entire house or building. Because they are bigger, they are more durable. But the condenser coils are exposed on the outside, and you have to clean them with extreme care.

You can use a pressure washer to clean these units if you have pressure washing experience, but be sure to carefully follow the steps below.

You can also use a garden hose to clean an outside unit. Make sure to turn it off, clear any debris, and use the same solution as though you were power washing it.

When to Clean Your AC Unit

Can you pressure wash an air conditioner, and when should you do it? The obvious time to clean your AC unit is when it’s cluttered with dirt and debris. This buildup prevents it from blowing cool air properly.

You should also clean your AC if you notice it turning off and on frequently, if the air is not getting cool, or if it sounds different than normal. Even without any of these problems, we recommend you clean your unit twice a year to keep it running in peak condition.

5 Steps to Pressure Wash Your Outside AC Unit

You can pressure wash an air conditioner, but make sure to carefully follow these steps. You risk damage or your safety if you’re careless with your cleaning.

1. Disconnect

Completely unplug the unit. Don’t just turn it off.

2. Wet it Down

Use a garden hose to gently rinse off the top and sides of the unit. Do not use full pressure on the garden hose; a medium-strength flow is adequate.

3. Prepare and Spray the Solution

Whether you’re cleaning an outside or inside unit, use a mix of soap and hot water. If you want to disinfect the unit and prevent mold growth, you can add 1/4 cup of bleach for every gallon of water.

With the solution in the pressure washer, spray down the entire AC unit. Try not to get any water inside the air conditioner during this step. The water pressure can damage the AC’s coils.

You do not need to use the pressure washer at full power. Just make sure you’re getting off all the caked-on dirt.

4. Rinse

Make sure you used all of the solution in the pressure washer. Use clean water to rinse the rest of the debris and cleaning solution off the air conditioner. If the debris is loose, you can use a hose instead.

5. Reconnect

Reconnect the air conditioner and turn it back on — no need to wait until it’s dry!

Let Green Energy Mechanical Inc. Handle All Your AC Needs

Can you pressure wash an air conditioner? The answer is yes! At Green Energy Mechanical Inc., our team of HVAC technicians is happy to handle all your AC repair and maintenance needs.

Have a question about your AC? Call us at 781-236-3421 or email at

Author Bio:

Jonathan Neves

Worked in the HVAC industry since he was 17. He started as an HVAC service technician for commercial buildings and eventually came into the residential market because of his love of working with people. He believes that what really sets Green Energy Mechanical apart is how long they stand behind their work and how compassionate his employees are for their clients.


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