The A/C Conundrum

Living in a townhouse has its challenges, especially a house built in the early 1970’s. One of the problems is that I don’t have an outside water source. Normally this isn’t a problem, since the association doesn’t water the lawn and I’m not a gardener.

The problem is the A/C condenser unit.  The normal way to clean the coils is to spray them with a hose at least once a year.  This is important so that the motor doesn’t work harder than necessary, since problems can arise if it gets too dirty.


Whenever a technician would look at the unit to do a tune up, he’d ask where the hose is. When I say I don’t have one and ask if there’s another way to clean it, they’re stumped. Guess this isn’t nearly as common as I’d thought it would be.

I decided to finally look into this, worrying that my 3 year old A/C unit could soon face problems if I continue to ignore it. Looking around the house, I found an industrial spray bottle that I purchased to make my own household cleaner (water and vinegar) but hadn’t gotten around to yet.  I filled it with water and got to work.

Took 5 bottles of water (and two very sore hands) but the A/C unit was looking much better.  Thankfully, my brother recommended a pump sprayer instead.  I picked up this 2 gallon unit from Lowes and used the high volume attachment.

pump sprayer

So much better!  I used the full 2 gallons but it did a great job and was much easier to use.  The next week I used it again. Going forward I’ll just need to remain diligent and spray it down every couple weeks each summer. Mystery solved and score one for the accidental homeowner!


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