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How to vacuum an AC system – for an efficient unit when you need it the most

Knowing how to vacuum an AC system is essential before summer – here are the professional steps to a cooler season ahead

Air conditioning
(Image credit: GettyImages)

It is that time of the year when knowing how to vacuum an AC system becomes an increasing priority. As we enjoy the hottest months on the calendar, many homes turn to their air conditioning unit for relief from the climate – so it’s important to ensure your system runs efficiently and safely. 

Knowing how to clean an air conditioner may sound like a tedious task, but with the best vacuum cleaner, the process is easy. So, you can enjoy the benefits of an efficient system quickly. Here’s how to vacuum an AC system the expert way.  

How to vacuum an AC system 

Air con

(Image credit: GettyImages)

'If you have an AC system, it's important to keep it clean. A dirty AC system can lead to a number of problems, including decreased efficiency, increased energy costs, and potentially even health problems,' warns Ryan Collier, an air conditioning expert from Heat Pump Source (opens in new tab)

However, the good news is that vacuuming your AC system is relatively easy and only takes a few minutes if you follow these failsafe tips. 

1. Disconnect the power to your unit

Before beginning the cleaning process, Ryan emphasizes the importance of cutting all power to your AC unit. This is the most important step as it allows you to carry out the vacuuming safely.  

'Next, remove the cover of the unit. Once the cover is off, locate the evaporator coil and use a soft brush to gently remove any dirt or debris that may be on the coil,' the expert adds. 

Air con

(Image credit: GettyImages)

2. Vacuum the coil

After removing any debris from your coil, the vacuuming begins. Ryan recommends using a soft-bristled attachment to ensure you don't damage the unit in the process. He reminds you to vacuum both the inside and outside of the coil for an efficient clean. 

Air conditioning expert Beth Allen from HVAC (opens in new tab) also recommends cleaning the metal vents in your dishwasher after the vacuuming is complete. 

3. Replace your unit's cover

After you've finished vacuuming the coil and cleaning your metal vents, the experts suggest replacing the cover on the AC unit before reintroducing the power. 

Beth explains that this simple process will improve your indoor air quality 'by eliminating contaminants such as dust, dirt, pet hair, and dander, along with other allergens that cause symptoms in household members when exposed.' 

So, if you own an air conditioning unit, there is a host of benefits to following these cleaning tips at the next available opportunity. 

Megan is the News and Trends Editor at Homes & Gardens. She first joined Future Plc as a News Writer across their interiors titles, including Livingetc and Real Homes. As the News Editor, she often focuses on emerging microtrends, sleep and wellbeing stories, and celebrity-focused pieces. Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US while studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site. She currently lives in London with her antique typewriter and an expansive collection of houseplants.