How to Clean a Carrier Evaporator Coil

Carrier air conditioners are designed for residential or commercial use and pull warm air into the main unit, passing the air through the evaporator coil, where it is cooled and sent back into the environment.

The process of cooling the air in the evaporator coil creates condensation, which drips down into a pan. Over time, the evaporator coil may become dirty or clogged and needs cleaning to ensure proper functioning of the unit. Cleaning the evaporator coil takes some basic tools available at most hardware stores. Clean your Carrier air conditioner unplugged.

Open the front access panel on the Carrier air conditioner.

Use a soft brush to clean the evaporator coil, which appears as a winding set of thin coils. Brush gently to avoid damaging the coil. Alternatively, use a shop vacuum to carefully suction up the dirt and debris, working carefully to not bend the fins.

Apply evaporator coil cleaner, available at many hardware or home repair stores, to the coil and allow the cleaner to fully saturate the coil area. Allow the cleaner to sit on the evaporator coil for 10 minutes but do not allow the cleaner to dry on the coil. Add more cleaner to keep the area wet for a total of 10 minutes if necessary.

Use a garden hose at a close proximity to the evaporator coil to carefully spray the coil clean. Spray the water in an up-and-down vertical motion and avoid using excessive force with the water, as this may bend or damage the coil fins. Finish by spraying downward to send the water into the condensate pan.

Suction out the condensate pan to remove the dirt, debris and any water using a shop vacuum.

Close the front access panel and restore power to the unit.

Things You Will Need

  • Soft brush
  • Evaporator coil cleaner
  • Garden hose
  • Shop vacuum

Tip

  • If the evaporator coil fins accidentally get damaged during the cleaning process, an HVAC condenser comb purchased at many hardware or home retail stores can carefully straighten the fins.

About the Author

Meredith Jameson writes early childhood parenting and family health articles for various online publications. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in history from San Francisco State University.