How to Clean the Coils on an Rv Air Conditioner

To clean the coils on an RV air conditioner, remove the unit’s cover and use a coil cleaning solution and a soft brush to gently clean the coils. Cleaning the coils regularly helps improve the performance and efficiency of the air conditioner.

Text Example

Must-Have Cleaning Essentials For Every Home (Recommended):

Calyptus 45% Pure Super Concentrated Vinegar | Dilutes to 18 Gallons | 9x Power Concentrate Vinegar | 2 Gallons
  • Consistently delivers the same smell, color, and results - every time. For superior and safer cleaning performance, in and around your home.
Baking Soda
Milliard 5lbs Baking Soda / Sodium Bicarbonate USP - 5 Pound Bulk Resealable Bag
  • Great household product for anything that needs a bright new look! Use it as a cleansing booster with your laundry or dish detergent, as a pH buffer in swimming pools, or for cleaning kitchen surfaces.
Microfiber Cleaning Cloth
MR.SIGA Microfiber Cleaning Cloth, Pack of 12, Size:12.6
  • Ultra-soft, highly absorbent, durable, lightweight, non-abrasive microfiber cleaning cloths. Great for cleaning windows, kitchenware, cars, bathrooms, mirrors, or other delicate surfaces. Perfect dish rags that don't smell.
This post may have affiliate links and as an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

Air conditioning is an essential component of an RV, providing comfort during hot summer days. However, over time, dust, dirt, and debris can accumulate on the coils of the air conditioner, hindering its effectiveness. To ensure optimal performance, it is important to clean the coils regularly.

We will discuss how to clean the coils on an RV air conditioner, providing step-by-step instructions and helpful tips to effectively maintain your air conditioner. By following these simple steps, you can keep your RV air conditioner running smoothly and efficiently throughout your travels.

How To Clean The Coils On An Rv Air Conditioner


Table of Contents

The Role Of Coils In An Rv Air Conditioner

Coils play a crucial role in an RV air conditioner. To clean them, use a soft brush to remove debris and then rinse with water. Regular coil maintenance ensures optimal cooling performance and efficiency.

Coils play a crucial role in the cooling process of an RV air conditioner. They are responsible for transferring heat out of the RV to create a cool and comfortable interior environment. Understanding how coils facilitate the cooling process is essential for effective maintenance and troubleshooting.

How Coils Facilitate The Cooling Process

Coils in an RV air conditioner facilitate the cooling process through the following mechanisms:

  • Evaporator coils: As warm air from the RV enters the air conditioner, it passes over the evaporator coils. These coils contain a refrigerant that evaporates, absorbing heat from the air in the process. The now-cooled air is then blown back into the RV, lowering the temperature.
  • Condenser coils: Once the heat is absorbed by the evaporator coils, it needs to be expelled outside the RV. That’s where the condenser coils come into play. The refrigerant, which is now a hot gas, flows to the condenser coils where it condenses back into a liquid state. This process releases the captured heat to the outside air, ensuring effective cooling inside the RV.
  • Fins and tubes: The coils in an RV air conditioner are often equipped with fins and tubes to enhance heat transfer. The fins increase the surface area, allowing for improved airflow and more effective heat exchange. The tubes provide a pathway for the refrigerant to flow through and further facilitate heat absorption or release.

Understanding the types of coils used in RV air conditioners is also essential for maintenance and troubleshooting. Let’s explore the different types next.

The Types Of Coils Used In Rv Air Conditioners

RV air conditioners typically utilize two types of coils, each serving a specific purpose:

  • Copper coils: Copper coils are the most common type used in RV air conditioners due to their excellent heat transfer properties. They are durable and have high corrosion resistance, making them suitable for the demanding outdoor environment. Copper coils are often found in the condenser and evaporator units of the air conditioner.
  • Aluminum coils: Some RV air conditioners feature aluminum coils due to their lower cost compared to copper. While not as efficient in heat transfer as copper, aluminum coils still offer decent performance and are lighter in weight. They are predominantly found in the evaporator coils of RV air conditioners.

By understanding the role and types of coils in an RV air conditioner, you are better equipped to maintain and troubleshoot any cooling issues that may arise. Regular cleaning and maintenance of the coils will ensure optimal performance and prolong the lifespan of your RV air conditioner.

Importance Of Cleaning The Coils Regularly

Regularly cleaning the coils on your RV air conditioner is crucial for optimal performance and efficiency. By removing dirt and debris, you can prevent clogs and ensure that cool air is evenly distributed throughout your vehicle.

RV air conditioners are essential for keeping your vehicle cool and comfortable during those hot summer months. However, to ensure optimal performance and longevity, it is crucial to clean the coils on a regular basis. Neglecting this maintenance task can lead to reduced cooling efficiency, system breakdowns, and a shorter lifespan for your air conditioner.

In the following sections, we will delve into the importance of cleaning the coils regularly, highlighting how it helps you avoid these issues and maximize the effectiveness of your RV air conditioner.

Avoiding Reduced Cooling Efficiency

Regularly cleaning the coils of your RV air conditioner plays a significant role in maintaining its cooling efficiency. Over time, dirt, dust, and debris can accumulate on the coils, reducing their ability to transfer heat effectively. This impedes the air conditioner’s ability to cool down the interior of your RV efficiently.

By cleaning the coils, you can remove these obstructing particles and optimize the cooling performance of your air conditioner.

Key points to consider:

  • Dirty coils hinder heat transfer, reducing cooling efficiency.
  • Cleaning the coils removes accumulated dirt and debris.
  • Regular coil maintenance ensures optimal cooling performance.

Preventing System Breakdowns

Failure to clean the coils on a regular basis can lead to system breakdowns and malfunctions. When the coils become excessively dirty, the air conditioner has to work harder to cool the air, placing additional strain on the system. This increased workload can result in overheating, which may lead to component failures and breakdowns.

By regularly cleaning the coils, you can prevent these issues and ensure that your air conditioner operates reliably when you need it most.

Key points to consider:

  • Dirty coils increase strain on the air conditioner.
  • Overheating caused by dirty coils can result in system breakdowns.
  • Cleaning the coils regularly helps prevent malfunctions and ensures continuous operation.

Extending The Lifespan Of The Air Conditioner

Routine cleaning of the coils is essential for extending the lifespan of your RV air conditioner. As dirt and debris accumulate on the coils, they act as an insulating barrier, preventing efficient heat transfer. This causes the air conditioner to work harder and longer to achieve the desired cooling effect.

The added strain can lead to premature wear and tear on the system, shortening its overall lifespan. By regularly cleaning the coils, you can remove this insulating layer and promote optimal heat transfer, ultimately prolonging the lifespan of your air conditioner.

Key points to consider:

  • Dirty coils impede heat transfer and cause the air conditioner to work harder.
  • Excessive strain on the system can lead to premature wear and tear.
  • Cleaning the coils regularly prevents unnecessary damage and extends the lifespan of the air conditioner.

Taking the time to clean the coils on your RV air conditioner regularly is a simple yet crucial maintenance task that can significantly impact its performance and durability. By avoiding reduced cooling efficiency, preventing system breakdowns, and extending the lifespan of your air conditioner, you can ensure comfortable and hassle-free travels in your RV.

Necessary Tools And Materials

To effectively clean the coils on an RV air conditioner, you’ll need a few essential tools and materials. These include a soft brush, coil cleaner, a garden hose, and protective gloves and goggles. With the right equipment, you’ll be able to maintain your air conditioner’s efficiency and keep it running smoothly.


  • Coil cleaning solution: A specialized cleaning solution designed for RV air conditioner coils is essential for effectively removing dirt, debris, and grime. The solution should be specifically formulated for use on air conditioner coils to ensure optimal cleaning without causing any damage.
  • Soft brush: A soft-bristle brush is necessary to gently scrub away the accumulated dirt and dust from the coils. It should have bristles that are firm enough to dislodge the debris but soft enough to avoid causing any damage to the delicate fins of the coils.
  • Vacuum cleaner with nozzle attachment: A vacuum cleaner equipped with a nozzle attachment is crucial for sucking up loose debris, dust, and dirt from the coils. The nozzle attachment allows for precise and efficient cleaning, particularly in hard-to-reach areas of the coils.
  • Gloves and safety goggles: It’s important to prioritize safety when cleaning RV air conditioner coils. Wear protective gloves to shield your hands from any harmful chemicals present in the cleaning solution, as well as to prevent any cuts or injuries. Safety goggles offer eye protection against splashes of cleaning solution and airborne particles.

Having these necessary tools and materials prepared before you begin the coil cleaning process will ensure that you have everything you need to clean your RV air conditioner coils effectively and safely.

Disconnecting Power And Accessing The Coils

To clean the coils on an RV air conditioner, start by disconnecting the power and accessing the coils. This allows you to effectively remove dirt and debris, ensuring optimal cooling performance for your RV.

Before you begin the process of cleaning the coils on your RV air conditioner, it is crucial to take proper safety precautions. Additionally, you need to remove the air conditioner cover to access the coils. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you with the process:

Safety Precautions Before Starting The Cleaning Process:

  • Turn off the power: Locate the circuit breaker for your RV air conditioner and switch it off before starting any work. This step ensures your safety and prevents any electrical mishaps.
  • Confirm power disconnection: After turning off the circuit breaker, double-check if the power is genuinely disconnected. This extra precaution ensures that you won’t accidentally come into contact with live wires during the cleaning process.
  • Wear protective gear: Before handling the coils, it’s vital to wear appropriate protective gear to safeguard yourself from any potential harm. We recommend wearing gloves, safety goggles, and a mask to prevent any potential exposure to dust or debris.
  • Consult your RV manual: To ensure you follow the correct safety procedures, refer to your RV manual for specific instructions related to disconnecting power and handling the air conditioner. The manual will provide you with additional safety information relevant to your specific RV model.

Removing The Air Conditioner Cover To Access The Coils:

  • Locate the air conditioner cover: Depending on your RV model, the air conditioner cover may be positioned either inside or outside of your RV. Do a quick visual inspection and identify the location of the cover.
  • Remove screws or fasteners: Most air conditioner covers are secured with screws or other types of fasteners. Using a screwdriver or appropriate tool, carefully loosen and remove these screws, making sure to keep them in a safe place to avoid misplacement.
  • Lift off the cover: Once all the screws or fasteners are removed, gently lift off the air conditioner cover. Take care not to force it open or cause any damage during this process.
  • Examine the coils: With the cover removed, you will be able to clearly see the coils inside the air conditioner. Take a closer look to assess their condition and determine the level of cleaning required. It’s common for coils to accumulate dirt, dust, and debris, which can hinder the air conditioner’s performance.

Now that you have safely disconnected the power and accessed the coils, you are ready to move on to the next steps in cleaning your RV air conditioner. Stay tuned for the next section on how to effectively clean the coils to restore optimal performance and maximize energy efficiency.

Removing Debris And Dirt From The Coils

To effectively clean the coils on an RV air conditioner, it is crucial to remove debris and dirt. This maintenance task promotes optimal performance and efficiency for the cooling system.

Coils on an RV air conditioner can accumulate debris and dirt over time, affecting the unit’s performance. Proper maintenance includes cleaning the coils regularly to ensure efficient operation and optimal cooling. Here’s a step-by-step guide to removing debris and dirt from the coils:

Using A Vacuum Cleaner To Remove Loose Debris:

  • Start by turning off the air conditioner to prevent any mishaps.
  • Carefully remove the external cover of the air conditioner unit.
  • Use a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment to gently remove loose debris from the coils.
  • Ensure thorough cleaning by focusing on all sides of the coils, including the gaps in between.
  • Pay special attention to areas prone to debris buildup such as the fins and edges of the coils.
  • Take your time to ensure that all loose debris is successfully removed.

Applying The Coil Cleaning Solution And Allowing It To Sit:

  • Mix a solution of coil cleaning detergent or coil cleaner with water as per the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Using a spray bottle, evenly apply the cleaning solution onto the coils.
  • Allow the solution to sit on the coils for the recommended duration to effectively break down stubborn dirt and grime.
  • This dwell time is crucial for the cleaning solution to work its magic and maximize the coil’s cleaning potential.
  • While waiting, ensure that nearby surfaces are protected from any potential overspray.

Gently Brushing The Coils To Dislodge Stubborn Dirt:

  • After the dwell time, use a soft-bristled brush or a coil cleaning brush to gently dislodge any stubborn dirt and grime.
  • Focus on brushing the coils in a back-and-forth motion to avoid damage.
  • Be careful not to use excessive force that could bend or damage the delicate fins of the coils.
  • Continue brushing until all visible dirt is removed and the coils appear clean.
  • Take the time to inspect and clean hard-to-reach areas, ensuring a thorough job.

Remember, maintaining clean coils is essential for optimal RV air conditioner performance. Regularly cleaning the coils will not only improve cooling efficiency but also extend the lifespan of your air conditioning unit. By following these steps, you can minimize the accumulation of debris and dirt, ensuring that your RV remains cool and comfortable during your travels.

Rinsing And Drying The Coils

To clean the coils on an RV air conditioner, start by rinsing them thoroughly with water to remove dirt and debris. Once clean, allow the coils to dry completely before using the air conditioner again. Regular maintenance like this helps to ensure optimal functionality and efficiency.

To ensure the proper functioning of your RV air conditioner, it’s essential to rinse and dry the coils thoroughly. This step is crucial for removing any residue left behind by the coil cleaning solution and allowing the coils to dry completely before reassembling the unit.

Follow these steps to rinse and dry the coils effectively:

Using A Hose Or Spray Bottle To Rinse Off The Coil Cleaning Solution:

  • Fill a hose or spray bottle with clean water.
  • Spray the water directly onto the coils, targeting the entire surface area.
  • Ensure that the spray is gentle to avoid damaging the coils.

Ensuring Thorough Rinsing To Remove All Residue:

  • Continue spraying water until all traces of the coil cleaning solution are removed.
  • Pay extra attention to areas where the residue might accumulate, such as corners and crevices.
  • Inspect the coils carefully to make sure no residue remains.

Allowing The Coils To Air Dry Completely Before Reassembling The Unit:

  • After rinsing, allow the coils to air dry naturally.
  • Place the unit in a well-ventilated area or use a fan to expedite the drying process.
  • Ensure that the coils are completely dry to prevent any potential issues or damage.

By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your RV air conditioner’s coils are properly rinsed and dried. This process will contribute to the overall effectiveness and longevity of your unit, allowing you to enjoy comfortable temperatures during your travels.

Regularly Cleaning Or Replacing Air Filters

Regularly cleaning or replacing air filters is an essential part of maintaining your RV air conditioner. Not only does it improve air quality, but it also ensures that the coils stay clean and free from debris, allowing for proper airflow and efficient cooling.

The Impact Of Dirty Air Filters On Coil Cleanliness

  • When it comes to maintaining the cleanliness of your RV air conditioner coils, one crucial factor to consider is the condition of your air filters. Dirty air filters can have a significant impact on the cleanliness of your coils, affecting the overall efficiency and performance of your RV’s cooling system.

Here are a few key points to understand about the impact of dirty air filters:

  • Reduced Airflow: Dirty air filters restrict the flow of air through the RV air conditioner unit, obstructing the proper circulation of cool air. As a result, the unit may struggle to reach and maintain the desired temperature, leading to discomfort during warm days.
  • Increased Energy Consumption: When air filters are clogged with dirt and debris, your RV’s air conditioner has to work harder to push the air through the system. This increased workload results in higher energy consumption, causing a spike in your utility bills. So, ensuring clean air filters can help optimize energy efficiency.
  • Impaired Coil Functionality: Dirty air filters contribute to the build-up of dirt and dust on the coils, impeding their ability to effectively transfer heat. The accumulation of debris on the coils reduces their heat exchange efficiency, making it harder for the RV air conditioner to cool the air efficiently.
  • Potential Ice Formation: In extreme cases, when the airflow is significantly reduced due to dirty air filters, it can cause condensation on the coils. This condensation can freeze on the coils, leading to ice formation. Ice accumulation not only hampers cooling but also can damage the coils and other components of the air conditioner unit.

Recommended Frequency For Air Filter Maintenance

Proper maintenance of air filters is essential for optimal performance. Here’s a recommended frequency to clean or replace air filters:

  • Regular Cleaning: Ideally, you should clean your RV air conditioner filters at least once a month during the operating season. However, this frequency may vary depending on environmental conditions and usage patterns. Dusty areas or heavy usage might require more frequent cleaning.
  • Visual Inspection: Apart from regular cleaning, it’s good practice to visually inspect the filters before each camping trip or at least every three months. Check for excessive dirt, debris, or damage. If you notice substantial build-up or damage, it is best to replace the filters rather than just clean them.
  • Replacement: On average, air filters for RV air conditioners should be replaced every three to six months, depending on factors like air quality, usage, and manufacturer recommendations. Consider replacing the filters more frequently if you spend a lot of time in dusty environments or if you notice a decline in cooling performance.

Following these suggested maintenance frequencies will help ensure that your RV air conditioner operates efficiently, providing you with a comfortable living space during your travels. Remember, clean air filters contribute to proper airflow, reduce energy consumption, and preserve the longevity of your RV’s cooling system.

Keeping The Surrounding Area Clean

Regular maintenance of an RV air conditioner is crucial, and cleaning its coils is a key step. Learn how to effectively clean the coils to keep your surrounding area clean and ensure optimal AC performance.

A clean and well-maintained environment around your RV air conditioner is vital for its optimal performance. By clearing away debris and vegetation and minimizing dust and dirt accumulation, you can ensure the coils stay clean and efficient. Here are some steps you can follow to keep the surrounding area clean and enhance the performance of your RV air conditioner:

Clearing Away Debris And Vegetation Near The Air Conditioner

  • Regularly inspect the area around the RV air conditioner and remove any debris such as leaves, twigs, or other objects that may have accumulated.
  • Trim back any overhanging branches or vegetation that could potentially obstruct the airflow or drop debris onto the unit.
  • Use a blower or a brush to gently remove dirt, dust, and other debris from the exterior surfaces of the air conditioner.
  • Make sure the area underneath the air conditioner is clear of obstructions to allow for proper airflow and prevent any potential damage.

Minimizing Dust And Dirt Accumulation In The Vicinity

  • Keep the immediate surroundings of the RV air conditioner clean by regularly sweeping or vacuuming the area to prevent dust, leaves, or other debris from accumulating.
  • Avoid parking your RV in dusty areas or near construction sites where the air quality may be compromised.
  • Consider using a cover or protective shield for your RV air conditioner when it’s not in use to prevent dust and dirt from settling on the unit.
  • If you notice excessive dust or dirt accumulation on the exterior of the air conditioner, use a soft cloth or brush to gently wipe it clean.

By following these simple practices and keeping the surrounding area clean, you can ensure that your RV air conditioner functions efficiently and provides you with comfortable indoor temperatures during your travels. Remember, a well-maintained air conditioner not only enhances your comfort but also extends its lifespan, saving you money in the long run.

Conducting Routine Inspections And Maintenance

Routine inspections and maintenance are crucial for keeping your RV air conditioner in top condition. Learn how to effectively clean the coils to enhance its performance and longevity.

Checking For Signs Of Dirt And Debris On The Coils

  • Inspect the coils of your RV air conditioner regularly to ensure they are free from dirt and debris.
  • Look for visible signs of dust, dirt, or debris accumulation on the coils.
  • Use a flashlight to check for any clogs or blockages in the coil fins.
  • Pay attention to any unusual smells or reduced cooling efficiency, as these may be indications of dirty coils.
  • Take note of any rust or corrosion on the coils, as it can affect the performance of your air conditioner.

Performing Regular Coil Cleaning Or Professional Servicing If Necessary

  • Clean the coils of your RV air conditioner at least once a year or as recommended by the manufacturer.
  • Start by turning off the power to the air conditioner to prevent any mishaps.
  • Use a soft brush or a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment to gently remove any loose dirt and debris from the coils.
  • For thorough cleaning, mix a mild detergent with water and apply it to the coils. Let it sit for a few minutes before rinsing it off with a hose or a spray bottle.
  • Be careful not to use excessive water pressure, as it can cause damage to the fins and delicate components.
  • If the coils are heavily soiled or if you are unsure about cleaning them on your own, consider seeking professional servicing to ensure proper maintenance.

Remember, performing routine inspections and maintenance on your RV air conditioner’s coils is vital to keep it running efficiently and prolong its lifespan. By checking for signs of dirt and debris on the coils and performing regular cleaning, you can ensure optimal performance and prevent potential issues.

Are the Coils on a Camper AC the Same as an RV Air Conditioner?

Yes, the coils on a camper AC are the same as an RV air conditioner. Routine cleaning of camper AC coils is essential to maintain efficient cooling and extend the lifespan of the unit. Neglecting cleaning camper AC coils can result in reduced cooling capacity and higher energy consumption.

Frequently Asked Questions Of How To Clean The Coils On An Rv Air Conditioner

How Do You Clean An Rv Ac Coil?

To clean an RV AC coil, follow these steps: 1. Turn off the AC and disconnect the power source. 2. Remove the filter and clean it with soapy water. 3. Spray a coil cleaner on the AC coil and let it soak for a few minutes.

4. Use a soft brush or cloth to gently remove dirt and debris. 5. Rinse the coil thoroughly with water, ensuring it’s free of any cleaner residue. 6. Allow the coil to dry completely before reattaching the filter and turning the AC back on.

Can I Clean Ac Coils Myself?

Yes, you can clean AC coils by yourself.

Can You Clean Ac Coils Without Removing?

Yes, you can clean AC coils without removing them.

What Are The Symptoms Of A Dirty Evaporator Coil?

Symptoms of a dirty evaporator coil include reduced cooling efficiency, increased energy consumption, and potential refrigerant leaks.


Properly maintaining your RV air conditioner is crucial for optimal performance and longevity. Cleaning the coils is a simple yet effective way to ensure your unit operates efficiently. By following the steps outlined in this blog post, you can remove dirt, debris, and grime that accumulate on the coils over time.

Regular coil cleaning improves the AC’s cooling capacity and reduces energy consumption, saving you money in the long run. Additionally, it helps prevent potential damage to the AC system caused by overheating. Remember to use a soft brush, mild detergent, and gentle water pressure when cleaning the coils to avoid causing any damage.

By dedicating a small amount of time to this maintenance task, you can enjoy a cool and comfortable RV experience throughout your travels.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top