How to service Split Air Conditioner

I am wondering if someone could tell me in detail how to clean and service split air conditioners without any professional support. It may include servicing both the units (inner and outer) without being able to loose the gas. I have been cleaning the filters so far but that doesn't clean the coils. Also if there are any solutions specific cleaners then please do mention,


Why do u want to save 500-700 rs per year and risk your AC life by half?

i used to wash my unit myself , using a ladder, and clean it with surf and soap water, scrubbing all the plates and draining the entire water while the inner was fixed on the wall.. after 2-3 years it started choking,.. the problem was only it required professional cleaning by dismantling it and washing it throughly on the floor.. the dirt that goes deep inside canot be cleaned with any amount of power water jet spray while fixed..

ac started working great after proper service.. thats why dont risk it..

^ +2

Around our neck of the woods, it costs Rs. 5000+ for them to

come and take away the inner, for servicing. Charges include

freight, labour, pressure cleaning the copper coils and re-

charging of the gas. That and plus, you have to be without

your A/C for 3-5 days.

Every A/C brand is put together a little differently. Before dis-

mantling an A/C you have to know where the latches, clips amd

screws are at. Else, you will undoubtedly pull at and damage

the flimsy plastic that most brands are using in their units.

Basic A/C Problems:

If either or both of your copper lines to the outer are icing-up,

you either have a choked-up blower, or sprung a leak in the

copper tubing. How to figure out which is it ?. If the inner is

throwing a decent burst of air, your blower is fine. If that air is

luke-warm, then you have a leak in one of the inner's copper


Copper Coil Leak:

For a leak in copper tubing, you have no choice. It has to go

the shop, where they will have to weld it shut and check by

applying pressure to see if it did the trick. You can't do it at

home. Period.

Dirty Evaporator/Choked Blower:

For a chocked blower, however, if you have the will, patience

and time, along with knowledge of how to take the inner apart,

go at it (watch closely the next time the pros take it apart). You

will need a clean cloth, a toothbrush, a water spray and a thin

Phillips screw-driver. When you have stripped-down the inner,

(while it's still on the wall and everything - make sure you have

switched off all the breakers leading to the A/C first!) clean the

delicate "evaporator coils" with water spray and toothbrush.

Until you can 'see' through to the copper tubes behind the fins.

[Do this very gently, else you will bend the delicate alum fins.]

Next, the blower. Clean the vents, the best way you see fit. With

a thin screw-driver tucked between a cloth, make sure all the

vents are free of dust and grime. When you are done with that,

insert a thin plastic tube (1/4") into the drain-hole, fill it up with

water and blow it out, 3-4 times, until you are confident the

drain isn't clogged with fungus, dirt, etc.

The Outer Unit:

If you feel up to it, open up the outer. There will be 6-8 screws

on it. Look at the large fan. It has a motor hidden behind it. You

don't want to get water on or in it. Cover the center of the fan with

a plastic shopper. On one side, you should see the compressor.

It is a large, round, black metallic thing. Don't get water anywhere

neat it, or the various fuses and thermostats around it. Usually,

there is a metal partition separating the fan from the compressor.

You will notice that there are a few holes on the base of the outer.

These are drainage holes. Now with the aid of a ladle, filled with

water, splash the evaporator coils/fins on the outer, being careful

not to get water on the motor. Let all the water drain out from the

bottom. Continue until you feel the aluminium fins are all cleaned.

Now with a damp cloth, clean the plastic fan. Allow it to be air-cooled.

Screw back the outer's panel.

If you've done a good, thorough job, you will not only have saved

some money, but will have a high performing A/C unit and you will

undoubtedly increase the working life of your unit. Units which are

well-kept have no doubt, fewer visits to the shop. Fewer patches to

the copper coiling, fewer compressor breakdowns, etc.

But like @farhan_ds said, sometimes it is important and inevitable

to let professionals handle serious problems. But it is our respon-

sibility to take care of basic maintenance and clean-up of household

mechanical or electrical equipment we own.

Sheikh 'McGyver' Chilli

PS: When your evaporator coils, both on inner and outer are clogged

with dirt, the copper tubes carrying heat away can't discharge it

through them, putting more pressure on the compressor, which leads

to either the copper springing a leak, or the compressor failing for good.

So, cleanliness of evaporator coils is extremely important.

Oh and if you are interested in saving your wall from getting

doused with splotches of dirty water, tape newspapers to the

bottom of the 'inner', so as to have a functional bib underneath

it, to collect all the junk you'll be cleaning out.

Cleaning the inner, if it's really dirty, should take anywhere

from 2-3 hours. So Sunday would be a good day for this sort

a DIY job.

Sheikh 'ParDeh MeiN Rehnay Doo' Chilli

well here in lahore dha ... they charge 500 rupees just to come and clean the inner with brush and water while unit is still attached to wall and washing the out door with simply putting water with pipe took them almost 30 mins to clean each unit ... with 6 units like that they charged 3000 for cleaning ... and also declared that 2 a/c needed gas refill ... so it was 7000 for almost 2 -3 hour of stay .............

Thank You sheikh_chilli for detailed explanation. I have been through experiences of professional assistant but everytime they didn't work out for long, eventually I had to buy a new AC. All this time I have been observing closely all the dismanteling techniques and with the knowledge you provided I think its not that difficult and can be DIY. I'll definitley try it out.