Window unit A/C cleaning gunk

I'm cleaning the filter on my window unit A/C but the metal wafers(not sure what that's called) that it covers underneath it are pretty gunky. Is it difficult to clean this properly, and what are the best ways to go about cleaning it? I hear there's stuff you can spray on it that dissolves it but not sure how you'd get it back out of it. ares
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The "metal wafers" you refer to are probably the fins on the condenser coils. Caution: poking around with these using hard objects could potentially puncture the tubes and kill the AC. I have a 10K window unit in my woodworking shop to make work marginally bearable in the summer. Fine sanding dust constantly plugs up the fins in my AC because they are also constantly wet from condensation. The best way I've found to clean this area is to use a large (32oz?) poly squeeze bottle filled with warm water. Spraying a healthy stream from this bottle is fairly effective in washing away accumulations and a bit of work with a paintbrush helps to break up the worst parts. Once the flushing in an area starts it usually proceeds pretty quickly. BTW, because this area of the AC is designed to catch and drain condensation you should find that everyting runs outside as long as the drain hole(s) are open.
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John McGaw
[Knoxville, TN, USA]
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the works.
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They are called 'fins' . If you can take the unit outside...then spray the inside fins and the outside fins with some degreaser preferably..or, some spray detergent. Allow it to soak in for 5 minutes...then, hose them down good but dont crush the fins with too much water pressure. Then, tilt the unit up so the water drains out for about 30 minutes. Then reinstall it in y our window.
If you have to clean the fins with the unit in the window..then, use some spray detergent with a wisk brush and get the dirt and junk off. Then, to rinse it, you can just spray some water out of a spray bottle on the fins -- the water will run toward the back of the unit and drain outside.
Make sure the electrical is disconnnected before you do any cleaning or rinsing.Always allow 30 minutes for the water to drain .
Dave
"Hey....have you hugged your Guage-Manifold today ?!"
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The evaporator (cooling) coil is at the front, the condenser coil (hot part) is at the rear.

It depends on the a/c's design. The a/c has to be disassembled to do anyway near a proper job.

High pressure steam is best IMO but you have to be very careful to not bend the fins of the coils or cut yourself on their razor sharp edges.

Out of where? The unit needs to be disassembled then all areas should be accessible. If using a chemical cleaner, a hose usually can be used to remove it afterward (taking care with all the electricals).
It's really not that expensive a job to have a professional do since you should be able to take the unit to them and avoid a service charge.
JMO
Dan O. - Appliance411.com http://ng.Appliance411.com/?ref411=air+conditioner
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Well, it's just extremely heavy large unit and mounted into the wall. Didn't know if wet things were allowed to be sprayed inside between the fins and didn't realize that it would drain out the back but didn't know if it could be wet inside without causing an electrical hazard. We've taken one out to clean before and hubby ruined it, accidentally puncturing something that exploded. ares.

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Thanks; sounds like a good idea. I think Ace Hardware might carry something that sounds like that type of product and it sounded too good to be true. It isn't terribly gunky but it would seem a cleaning would benefit it; I just didn't know if the chemical would need to be rinsed off, etc. ares

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Thru-the-wall model do at least slide into a sleeve which makes them easier to get out. There is little good in attempting to do anything with the unit still in place. The most you'll be able to accomplish is a cosmetic cleaning which will likely do little to improve its performance.
BTW. The most important coils which need to be *thoroughly* cleaned are the rear, condenser coils.
Air conditioners should be professionally cleaned every 3 years or so or every year if you live in a high traffic area to keep them working as well as possible while consuming the least amount or energy.
JMO
Dan O. - Appliance411.com http://ng.Appliance411.com/?ref411=air+conditioner
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ares wrote:

put it on the back porch and then take a hose and some liquid soap and spray the soap on the coil and frame bottom and let it sit on an ange with the drain hole lower(with a short piece of wood supporting the angle) and then hose it off and flush out all the mold.... it should take about 10 minutes the most....
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