How To Clean Ducane AC Unit

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To prepare for summer, it's important to make sure that your air conditioning is in top shape. Most condenser units can be dismantled by the owners for general cleaning, but this can feel intimidating for first-time owners. Don't worry, because we have done research on how you can clean your own Ducane AC. 

To clean your Ducane air conditioner unit, carefully follow the steps below:

  1. Turn off the breaker at the unit or at the breaker box.
  2. Remove the top lid of the unit.
  3. Remove the collected debris at the bottom of the unit.
  4. Clean the fins with a coil cleaner.
  5. Clean the fan blades
  6. Secure the top lid back.
  7. Turn the power back on.

While it's important to thoroughly clean the unit at least once a year, there are a lot of other elements in your central air conditioning system that can affect its general performance if left uncared for. Continue reading as we discuss all the extra details that go into cleaning your AC. 

An air conditioner unit outside of home, How To Clean Ducane AC Unit

How Do I Clean My Ducane AC?

Cleaning a big machine requires special care and attention to ensure that you do not miss the small details. Things like a wrong-sized filter or a damaged insulator can go unnoticed and will eventually lead to more serious problems in the future.

When cleaning outdoor conditioning units, be sure to also inspect all the extending parts.

Turn The Power Off

Electricial turning off circuit breaker board

Before opening the unit to clean the inside, make sure to disconnect the power first. By code, your AC must have its power connector right by the unit. Simply pull the power plug off the socket and place it on top of a dry place before proceeding to wash the unit. 

For older AC set-ups or units that were not installed up to code, locate the unit's breaker inside your home's main circuit box and turn it off. In case you cannot locate the individual breaker, simply turn off the main circuit board of the house.

Shutting off the power to the conditioner unit is important so you can avoid any electrical accidents that might occur when cleaning the machine. 

Remove The Lid Of The Unit

Air conditioner condenser coil with tools being repaired

The method of removing your AC's lid varies depending on your unit's manufacturer. Usually, you can remove the entire cover of the AC, but some models are designed to let you access the interior of the housing by simply lifting off the fan blade.

To do this, you can use an adjustable wrench to loosen the screws, although you should refer to your unit's manual to see which tool would work best. 

Removing Accumulated Debris From The Housing

Dirty air conditioning unit covered in leaves during autumn

Removing the litter that fell into the AC's housing is important to ensure that your unit's fins can continuously circulate the air without anything obstructing this cycle.

If you have not cleaned the interior of your outdoor AC unit for a while, chances are twigs and leaves have piled up inside the case which you'll have to remove by hand or by a vacuum.

It's also common to find mud around the bottom of the case especially if you do not provide a cover for your unit to protect it from snow or rain. Simply use a hose to wash away the mud.

Make sure that you are doing this from the inside of the case, washing away the dirt outwards so that no mud will stick to the fins. 

Clean The Fins

Dirty air conditioner fins

A coil cleaner is commonly used to loosen the hardened gunk on your AC's fins. Let the solution sit on the fins for 5-10 minutes before washing it away with clean water.

It is advisable that you wear safety goggles when you spray the solution on your fins to prevent the harsh chemicals from irritating your eyes. 

If your hardware store does not have coil cleaners in stock, you can also make your own solution with some basic home ingredients. Stir water, dishwashing soap, and white vinegar together in a small bucket, or preferably in a spray bottle.

Once thoroughly mixed, apply it to the fins and let it sit for 2-3 minutes before washing it off. 

After washing the coil cleaner, check the fins to look for crooked lines that need straightening. To do this, you can buy a fin brush available in hardware stores.

If this is not available to you, a slotted screwdriver or even a wooden stick can do the job as long as you use it carefully to avoid damaging the delicate fins. 

Clean The Fan Blades

Technical home service with dirty clogged air conditioner condenser cooling fins

If you want to clean the fan blades, do it before returning the lid. Be mindful of the position of the blade on the motor shaft before removing it for cleaning.

The blade should be returned in the correct position, with the set screw aligned to the flat side of the shaft. 

Secure The Lid Back In Place

Technician unscrews the top hatch of the outdoor compressor unit

After cleaning the interior of the AC unit, be sure to return the screws securely in place. Loose screws will not be able to hold down an operating fan in place, which will result in serious damage to the machine.

Also, notice lines going in and out of the machine. Make sure that you have rested the wires on the notch at the housing before putting back the cover and retreading the screws.

After doing all of this, your machine is ready to be plugged back in and put to work. 

Additional Factors To Inspect

It's possible that your cooling system did not improve even after cleaning the conditioner unit. If this is the case, look for external elements connected to the unit. 


Filters should be cleaned regularly to reduce allergens and allow good airflow. The filter can be found in the air handler cabinet, located right at the front of the door.

Washable filters are recommended because they are easy to maintain, better for the environment, and can last as long as the air conditioner unit itself.

If your filter is disposable, be sure to replace it every 1-3 months. Check the size of your filter stamped at the side of the item so that you can purchase the correct size replacement.


The insulators around the cold line should be replaced if damaged. A lot of things can affect the insulator since it is situated outside of the house, so it's important to check it to prevent cracks or tears.

A well-maintained insulator is important to maintain your conditioner unit's thermal efficiency.

How To Care For An Outdoor AC Unit?

Air conditioning and heating unit for a residential house hidden by holly

An AC unit installed outside can be affected by weather elements especially if it's not protected with a cover. Below is a list of tips you can follow to care for your unit and maintain its quality for longer.

  • Avoid installing the unit under trees or around bushes to prevent twigs and leaves from falling in.
  • If the air conditioner is installed near a tree, keep the tree maintained and remove branches that could fall on top of the unit in times of harsh weather conditions. 
  • Do not allow vegetation to ground in or around the unit. 
  • Avoid installing the air conditioner right under a gutter to prevent dirty water from leaking into the unit. 
  • If a fence is installed, allow at least 2 feet of space around the unit to keep it accessible for repair and maintenance.
  • Frequently rake the fallen leaves around the unit to avoid them being stuck into the fin coils.  
  • During the winter and rainy seasons, provide a cover for the top of the unit to prevent excessive debris from gathering inside the housing. 
  • Do not completely cover the unit as it can cause moisture build-up which could lead to corrosion. 
  • Avoid covering the unit all year round as it can hinder the airflow and encourage pests to build nests.
  • Make sure that the unit is properly elevated upon installation. 
  • Be mindful of the ground supporting the unit and make sure that it is solid enough to hold the unit in place even during harsh weather conditions. Concrete pads are recommended for a sturdy base.
  • Allow a slight tilt in the unit's foundation to provide the defrost runoff to properly drain.
  • Have the air vents professionally cleaned at least once every 2-3 years
  • Make sure that you installed your air conditioner in a place where it would not be constantly exposed to sunlight. 

How Do I Claim Ducane Warranty?

By default, a Ducane air conditioner unit has a 5-year limited warranty covering parts and a 20-year limited warranty covering things like heat exchangers and other pieces equipment that are not registered.

Ducane advises their users to register their products to the service within 60 days of installation to secure the warranty of the unit. 

To get the warranty, you need to find your unit's serial or model number which is made available to you upon purchase. You will also have to provide customer care service with an email address to verify your unit's registration.

A lot of the information you need to claim a warranty will be provided to you by the contractor who installed the unit. 

To Wrap Up

Cleaning your Ducane AC unit is easy and can be done without professional help. 

In this article, we discussed how you can properly clean your AC, as well as a few tips you can observe to maintain the unit. By following these steps, you'll be confident that your AC unit will work for you for many more summer months. 

If you're looking for related information, check out some of our other posts!

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