How to Use a Fin Comb

It's amazing that a few bent little coils can cost you thousands of dollars extra in heating and cooling costs, but they can.

When these coils are bent, air does not properly flow and thus your heating and cooling system must use more energy to heat or cool the same amount of space. Here's how to use a fin comb.

Get to the coils of your heating or air conditioner system. Sometimes they are outside the unit and other times a screen must be removed to access them. Check your owner's manual for details.

Use a wet-dry vac to suck out any excess dirt, debris or build-up that has occurred in the unit.

Gently place the fin comb over the coils. (Most coils are made of aluminum and are easily bent or manipulated.)

Slide the fin comb down from top to bottom. The fin comb should do the work and straighten the coils. This action mimics the way you would use a paint brush moving from top to bottom.

Things You Will Need

  • Fin comb
  • Wet-dry vac


  • Buy an all purpose fin comb. It may cost you a couple more bucks, but it's better to have a fin comb designed to fit every coil, than a fin comb with interchangeable heads.


  • Be careful of your knuckles. As you drag the fin comb down, your knuckles may come in contact with the very sharp coils. They can be as sharp as razors and as jagged as broken glass. Look for a fin comb that has a knuckle guard.