RV Tech Ideas

8 Easy Step-by-Step Guides on How to Clean RV AC Coils

8 Easy Step-by-Step Guides on How to Clean RV AC Coils

Hi, campers! Do you know how to clean your RV AC coils? It’s crucial to regularly do it; it might be difficult if you’ve never done it before.

After 2.5 years of RVing, I learned a lot about RV maintenance. Cleaning RV AC coils is one of my most critical tasks.

I had a long summer RV trip a few years ago. It was hot and humid, so my RV AC worked overtime. Later, I noticed my RV wasn’t cooling properly. Check that the AC coils are fully covered in debris and dirt. I knew I had to clean them but didn’t know how.

Online research found many RV AC coil cleaning methods. A hardware shop coil cleaner was my choice. The coil cleaner was simple. I sprayed the coils and waited a few minutes. Then, after I washed the coils, they formed water.

Turning on the AC after cleaning the coils worked perfectly again. Thank goodness I finally learned some preventative measures for clean RV AC coils. My RV AC coil cleaning was successful.

Camp with confidence, knowing your RV AC unit is working well. Remember to clean the coils after some time!

Bonus tip: “If your coils are dirty, you may need to use a brush to scrub them. But be-careful Scrubbing should not damage a coil”.

Read on to learn how to clean RV AC coils and keep your AC working smoothly all summer!

Let’s get started!

Understanding the Importance of RV AC Coil Cleaning

Understanding the Importance of RV AC Coil Cleaning

AC coils are important for RV air conditioning. It removes heat from your RV and transfers it to the outdoors. Thin metal fins surround copper tubes to form the coils. Copper tubes carry refrigerant gas, and RV fins absorb heat.

AC coils are useful. Your RV’s AC wouldn’t work without them. AC cooling efficiency might drop by 30% with dirty coils. This makes your AC unit work harder to cool your RV, which increases energy consumption and wear.

To keep your RV’s AC coils working, clean them after some time. Mold and mildew can form on dirty coils, causing health issues for you and your passengers.

Benefits of Regular AC Coil Cleaning

Cleaning RV AC coils regularly has long-term benefits:

  • Extended AC Unit Lifespan: Clean AC coils reduce wear and tear and may increase their lifespan.
  • Cost Savings: AC efficiency reduces energy and expenses, saving you money over time.
  • Comfortable RV Experience: Your RV stays cool and comfortable even in hot weather with clean coils, improving your trip experience.

Signs Your RV AC Coils Need Cleaning

Signs Your RV AC Coils Need Cleaning

Knowing when to clean your RV AC coils is crucial to system effectiveness. Check for these frequent signs:

  • Poor cooling performance: Dirty AC coils may be causing your RV to cool down slower. AC cooling efficiency might drop by 30% with dirty coils.
  • Increased energy bills: If your RV’s energy costs are rising, your AC coils may be unclean. Coil dirt can make your AC unit work harder, wasting energy.
  • Reduced airflow: If your RV’s AC vents have decreased airflow, the coils may be filthy. Dirty coils block airflow, reducing AC cooling.
  • Ice on the AC coils: Ice forming on the AC coils indicates dirt. Dirty coils can block refrigerant gas circulation, causing frost.
  • Unusual noises: Your RV’s AC coils may be unclean if they make strange noises. Dirty coils can make the AC unit work harder, causing strange noises.
  • Musty smell: A musty smell from your RV’s AC vents may indicate dirty AC coils. Dirty coils can trap mold and mildew, causing mustiness.

If any of such signs occur, clean your RV’s AC coils immediately. Dirty AC coils can lower cooling effectiveness, raise energy expenses, and cause issues.

Tools and Materials You Needed to Change and RV AC Coil Cleaning

Tools and Materials You Needed to Change and RV AC Coil Cleaning

The RV AC coil is vital to its air conditioning system. It transfers heat from your RV’s interior to the outdoors. Dust, debris, and other impurities can block the AC coil over time. Your AC system may work less efficiently to cool your RV.

The following tools and materials are needed to change or clean your RV AC coil:


  • Phillips head screwdriver
  • Flathead screwdriver
  • Nut driver (if applicable)
  • Socket wrench (if applicable)
  • Fin comb
  • Soft-bristled brush
  • Shop vacuum or air compressor
  • Ladder or step stool (if needed)
  • Gloves


  • RV AC coil cleaner
  • Water
  • Towels or rags
  • Drop cloth (optional)

Additional Tools and Materials

Other tools and supplies may be useful, especially if you’re changing the AC coil:

  • New RV AC coil
  • Coil sealant
  • Insulating foam (optional)
  • Copper pipe tubing (if needed)
  • Refrigerant (if needed)
  • Manifold gauge set (if needed)

Safety Precautions and Preservative Measures Air Conditioner Cleaning

Safety Precautions and Preservative Measures Air Conditioner Cleaning

Clean AC coils to increase air conditioning efficiency and longevity. Take safety and preservation steps to avoid AC unit damage or mishaps. Safety is paramount while cleaning RV AC coils. Here are important safety measures:

  • Before doing AC maintenance, turn off the electricity.
  • Protect yourself from sharp edges and chemicals with gloves and eyewear.
  • Cleaning the AC coil should not damage electrical lines or components.
  • Reach the AC coil safely with a ladder or step stool.
  • Use a mild AC coil cleaning; it is actually designed for this. Harsh cleaning and chemicals might harm the AC coil.
  • Avoid over-spray AC coil cleaning to protect your AC’s electrical components.
  • After cleaning, properly rinse the AC coil to remove the cleaner.
  • Before reconnecting the electricity and turning on the AC, dry the coil.

Follow these safety precautions and preventive measures to clean your AC coil safely and effectively and keep your air conditioning system working smoothly.

Step-by-Step Guide to Cleaning RV AC Coil

Step-by-Step Guide to Cleaning RV AC Coil

These eight steps are needed to clean your RV AC coil:

Step 1: Preparing Your RV

First, disconnect your RV from the power source and switch off the AC unit. Always prioritize safety. Put all your tools in a location for easy access.

Step 2: Accessing the AC Coils

RV manufacturers and models differ in AC coil access. The coils are usually accessible by removing the AC shroud or cover. RV user manuals provide full guidance.

Step 3: Removing Debris

Remove visible dirt, leaves, and debris from coils with a soft-bristle brush or fin comb. This technique should be cautious to avoid damaging the coils’ weak fins.

Step 4: Choosing the Right Cleaning Solution

Cleaning solutions vary. DIY AC coil cleaning or commercial AC coil cleaning are options. DIY solutions include water and mild detergent. Commercial cleansers made for this purpose are easily accessible.

Step 5: Applying the Cleaning Solution

After making your cleaning solution, generously apply it to the coils. Cover well to remove grime.

Step 6: Scrubbing the Coils:

Scrub coils lightly with a brush to remove stubborn buildup. Complete the job carefully without injuring the fins. Restoring coil cleanliness is the aim.

Step 7: Rinsing and Drying

After scraping, rinse the coils with a spray nozzle on a garden hose. You must rinse until the water runs clear to remove all cleaning solutions and debris. Rinse the coils and air-dry them before reassembling any pieces you removed to access them.

Step 8: Reassembling and Testing

Reassemble the AC components and cover carefully when the coils dry. Make sure everything is secure. Test your AC unit to make sure it’s operating properly.

Maintenance Tips of RV AC Coil Cleaning

Maintenance Tips of RV AC Coil Cleaning

Year-round cleaning of RV AC coils extends system life and improves performance. Consider these suggestions:

  • Regular Inspections: AC coils should be checked and cleaned. Regularly clean the coils. The frequency of coil cleaning depends on how often you use your RV and how dusty the camping area is. Coil cleaning is suggested once a year.
  • Air Filter Changes: Change your RV’s air filter every few months or as directed by the manufacturer. A clean filter reduces coil debris.
  • Coil Cleaner: RV AC coil cleaners are developed for them. Use gentle cleansers and avoid strong chemicals that might harm the fins.
  • Domestic Cleaning Agents: Carefully follow coil cleaner directions. Rinse the coils well after cleaning.
  • Completely Dry Coil: Turn the AC back on when the coils dry fully.

Follow these methods to clean and maintain your RV’s AC coils. This improves AC cooling, energy efficiency, and breakdown risk.

Troubleshooting Common AC Coil Issues

Troubleshooting Common AC Coil Issues

Follow these methods to clean and maintain your RV’s AC coils. This improves AC cooling, energy efficiency, and breakdown risk.

  • Dirty coils: Dirty coils are one of the most prevalent AC coil concerns and can affect cooling effectiveness. Use an AC coil cleaner to clean your coils. After cleaning, rinse the coils completely according to the cleaner’s recommendations.
  • Frozen coils: Common AC coil issues include frozen coils. Dirty coils or refrigerant flow issues might cause this. Clean coils to fix frozen ones. You may require a professional diagnosis if the coils remain frozen after cleaning.
  • Leaking coils: Leaking coils lose refrigerant, reducing AC cooling performance. Check for damage before fixing leaky coils. Coils must be replaced if damaged. An expert may need to identify the condition if there are no evident indicators of harm.
  • Clogged coils: Airflow is reduced by clogged coils, reducing AC cooling efficiency. Check the coils for debris to fix blocked coils. Carefully remove any debris or impediments. Professional coil cleaning may be needed if they remain blocked.

Troubleshoot any of the following AC coil issues immediately. Dirty, frozen, leaky, or clogged coils can lower AC cooling efficiency, raise energy expenses, and cause problems. Following the troubleshooting steps above can help keep AC coils clean and working correctly.

Warp Up: How to Clean RV AC Coils

Insufficiently cleaned RV AC coils can lower cooling performance by 30% and cause mold development. Regular cleaning increases AC unit life and lowers energy expenses, improving RV comfort. Poor cooling, increased energy costs, limited airflow, ice development, strange sounds, and musty odors indicate cleaning is needed.

Screwdrivers, brushes, a coil cleanser, and safety gear are needed to clean coils. Power disconnections, protective clothing, and avoiding strong chemicals are safety precautions. Follow these steps, such as: disconnecting power, accessing the coils per your RV’s directions, brushing dirt off, using a suitable cleanser, scrubbing the coils lightly, rinsing and drying the coils until clear, and installing RV AC or reassembling and testing the AC. Let the coils dry before restarting the AC unit.

Coil inspection and cleaning (recommended 1/4 quarterly per year), air filter replacement to avoid particles gathered, and using the right RV AC coil cleaner with dry coils before usage are maintenance advice. Cleaning filthy coils, monitoring airflow for frozen coils, evaluating for damage and repairing leaky coils, and carefully removing debris from blocked coils or getting expert support are standard troubleshooting steps.

RV owners may maintain their AC system’s optimal functioning and enjoy their road trip by following these suggestions. Sharing maintenance experiences and ideas in the comments might help fellow campers travel confidently with a well-maintained AC unit for the best camping experience.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Q: How often should I clean my RV AC coils?

Ans: Cleaning RV AC coils annually is suggested. However, frequent travel in dusty or unclean surroundings may require more regular cleaning. Checking regularly will help you decide the best cleaning frequency.

Q: Can I use any cleaning solution?

Ans: A professional AC coil cleaning is suggested, although a DIY approach with water and mild detergent works too. This cleaner is designed for the purpose and may work better.

Q: My RV AC still isn’t cooling properly after cleaning. What should I do?

Ans: If problems occur after cleaning, further get your RV’s user instructions for more guidance. Professional RV AC servicing may be needed for a more thorough and deeper check and evaluation of your RV AC problems.

Hello, my name is Shaikh Obaid, a Civil Engineer by profession, and I love to travel. I also believe that living in an RV should be peaceful. A few years ago, I started rvtechideas.com, my dream travel website, I also share my professional and travel experiences on RV Tech Ideas.