How to Clean RV Condensing Units

How to Clean RV Condensing Units
Regular maintenance of your RV air conditioner helps keep it in optimum working condition. An important part of maintenance is cleaning the condenser. Inspect and clean the fins on your RV air conditioner condenser every time you clean the air filter or at a minimum of every six months, more often if you use your RV frequently. Dirt and debris in a RV air conditioner condenser blocks air flow in the unit, which reduces the air conditioner's ability to cool the RV. Clean the condenser fins and keep cool during hot summer days.


Difficulty: Moderately Challenging

Things You’ll Need:
  • Screwdriver (size dependent on make and model of RV)
  • Butter knife
  • Fin comb
  • Large, soft-bristled paint brush
Step 1
Turn off the air conditioner and disconnect the power to the RV--the land electricity hookup and the house battery.
Step 2
Unscrew the screws that hold the shroud in place.
Step 3
Remove the air conditioner shroud to expose the air conditioner. Depending on the make and model RV air conditioner you have, the shroud slides or lifts off.
Step 4
Locate the condenser. On roof top models, the condenser is generally located at the rear of the air conditioner unit and on basement models the condenser is usually located at the side of the air conditioner unit.
Step 5
Inspect the condenser fins to see if they are bent. Straighten a bent fin by wedging a kitchen butter knife below the bent fin. Gently pull the butter knife up, until the fin is relatively straight. Use a fin comb instead of a butter knife if several fins are bent. Fin combs are available for purchase at air conditioning supply stores. To use the fin comb, place the comb against the condenser fins, so that the prongs on the fin comb lay between each condenser fin. Move the fin comb back and forth to straighten out the condenser fins. Severely damaged condenser fins that do not repair with use of a fin comb require service by a professional air conditioner repair person.
Step 6
Brush the condenser fins with a large, soft-bristled paintbrush to remove dirt and debris.
Step 7
Replace the air conditioner shroud.

Article Written By Rose Kivi

Rose Kivi has been a writer for more than 10 years. She has a background in the nursing field, wildlife rehabilitation and habitat conservation. Kivi has authored educational textbooks, patient health care pamphlets, animal husbandry guides, outdoor survival manuals and was a contributing writer for two books in the Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader Series.

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