How to Clean an Air Handler

Air conditioning units, used to circulate and cool the air of a house, consist of two separate pieces--an outdoor unit and an indoor unit.
This indoor unit is called an air handler. The air handler filters and circulates the air that is pumped in by the outdoor unit. Air handlers can also be paired with heating units to become part of a heating system. Their role as filters can produce a lot of dust, though, so to keep them working it's necessary to take them out and clean them regularly.

Step 1

Turn the air conditioner off before you start. Retract the coolant into the refrigerant line and disconnect the condensation drain line from the air handler. Use the diagrams and owner's manual that came with your air conditioning unit to correctly identify the parts.

Step 2

Disconnect the electrical cord from the outlet, and then disconnect it from the air handler. Take out the fan system, or squirrel cage, coil and air handler casing.

Step 3

Vacuum out the dirt stuck on the inside of the air handler. Squirt the antimicrobial cleaning solution on the coils of the air handler. The solution will turn the coils white as it cleans. Rinse the solution off using the garden hose. Repeat this process with the squirrel cage. Allow all pieces an hour of drying time before putting them back into the air conditioning unit.

Things You Will Need

  • Adjustable wrench
  • Vacuum
  • Antimicrobial cleaning solution
  • Garden hose

Tips

  • Cleaning an air handler requires fairly extensive air conditioning knowledge.
  • Dirty air handlers can circulate unpleasant smells through your house.