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miamicuse 09-23-2013 08:58 PM

Dirty Air Handler
3 Attachment(s)
Had a tenant for 2 years that just moved out...shocked and horrified to just noticed he never bothered to use a filter for the AC. The slot where the filter goes - nothing there and I looked up and it's filthy.

These "filaments" are very delicate, and I have a water heater right below this opening. Any tricks of the trade you can recommend on how to clean this up?

Thanks in advance.

beenthere 09-24-2013 04:35 AM this.

Graingers should carry it.

bobelectric 09-25-2013 04:17 AM

Why would the tenent service the air handler?

FClef 09-25-2013 06:32 PM

If you are a landlord, did you explain to them how to change the filter? Did you provide filters for them? Was it in your lease that they are responsible for purchasing filters and changing them?

If you did not do that, then with the next tenant, might I suggest that you do?

HVAC1000 09-25-2013 10:29 PM


Originally Posted by FClef
If you are a landlord, did you explain to them how to change the filter? Did you provide filters for them? Was it in your lease that they are responsible for purchasing filters and changing them?

If you did not do that, then with the next tenant, might I suggest that you do?

Also maybe take some off their damage deposit. That is if you were good enough to get one upfront

miamicuse 09-25-2013 11:20 PM

3 Attachment(s)
My lease stipulated that they need to change AC filter every 30 days AND pour bleach down the condensate line every 60 days. I showed them how to do it upon moving in.

This is pretty standard and customary down here in Florida when you rent there is a full two pages in the ad delineating what's the responsibility of the landlord and what's tenant's.

gregzoll 09-26-2013 12:08 AM


Originally Posted by bobelectric (Post 1246205)
Why would the tenant service the air handler?

I am asking that myself. Sounds like there is more to the story here.

yuri 09-26-2013 12:39 PM

1) Clean it with a shop vac and brush attachment
2) Spray it with Simple Green citrus/citric based cleaner from HDepot or grocery store and then flush it with lots of clean water. Other cleaners will attack the aluminum.
3) Make sure you runs lots of water down its drain and make sure it is working when done. sometimes gunk gets in it from the cleaning process.

sublime2 09-27-2013 11:04 PM


Originally Posted by miamicuse (Post 1246722)

I am confused.

I asked an exceedingly simple and practical question. How to clean this AC coil that is very dirty.

I never said I am to seek damages from the ex-tenant. I am doing this to get ready for renting.

How does this thread get hijacked into who sues who for this or that nonsense?

Assumption. Lease put together in two seconds not by a lawyer. Fact: Lease is standard Florida Association of Realtors residential lease agreement for condo or multifamily dwellings.
Assumption. Tenant did not read the lease. Fact: Tenant has to initial every page and sign, and where there are checkboxes where the tenant / landlord responsibilities are delineated where there are gray areas, a face to face conversation happened to discuss each in detail before checkboxes were filled in. For example, one item is pest control. Does the tenant want me to go inside his home every month to spray? No? OK, then I spray the outside and he takes care of inside. Fair? Tenant says fine. So I checked pest control inside tenant, outside landlord. Initialed. Exception carpenter ants and termites that's always landlord. AC filter we agree tenant is responsible. Initialed and demonstrated.

but enough, back to how best to clean and restore to serviceable conditions.

Ignore all these guys!
Follow beenthere's advice.
Stupid discussion about what should have happened instead of a straight forward answer.
Why on earth would you need to see before tenant pics of the coil?
So you can say "see it was you the landlord and not your tenants".

beenthere 09-30-2013 09:54 PM

miamicuse. Please let us know how you make out cleaning the coil. Or if you need further assistance on how to clean it.

cruies 10-02-2013 06:29 AM

It is important that you know how to clean air conditioner filters in your home. This will make a big difference to the quality of air you breathe when indoors. Regular cleaning will also help improve the efficiency of your air conditioner and keep it in good shape for longer. It is easy to forget about periodic cleaning that is necessary to ensure a healthier breathing environment.
Step 1 - Open the Air Conditioner

Make sure your air conditioner is turned off at the mains. Carefully remove the air conditioner components apart. You may have to use a screw driver to dislodge fitted screws.
Step 2 - Remove Filters

Remove the filters from the air conditioner. It is a good idea to inspect them for any wear and tear effects. If you spot any rips or snags you are better off replacing the filters as to continue using them when worn out will hamper efficiency.
Step 3 - Vacuum

Use a vacuum to get rid off all accumulated dirt and grime. Be as thorough as you can for effective cleaning results.
Step 4 - Sanitize the Filters

Fill a basin with equal portions of water and vinegar. Make sure that you create enough of this solution so that the filters are totally submerged when placed inside. The vinegar will kill harmful bacteria and allergens that may have accumulated in the filters.
Step 5 - Soak

Allow the filters adequate time to soak in the cleaning solution. If you have not cleaned the filters recently, leave them for about 4 hours to get properly sanitized. However, if the filters have only been used moderately or have been recently cleaned, soak for 1 hour.
Step 6 - Drain

Remove the filters from the cleaning solution and allow the mixture to drain off. Do not rinse the filters as to do so will reverse the effects of the sanitizing process. You can place them onto an old towel so that any excess solution is absorbed by the towel.
Step 7 - Dry

Allow the filters to dry naturally while still on the towel. It is best to place the towel outside in the yard or wherever some sunshine is available to facilitate effective drying.
Step 8 - Fit the Filters

Fit back the filters into the air conditioner and replace the air conditioner components. You can now enjoy cleaner, more breathable air.

Thanks all

Doc Holliday 10-05-2013 12:17 AM

What's happening is an obscene perversion of minimal intelligence and intellectualism.

This system requires more return air first and foremost and secondly, a complete air flow leak check. Any one else notice the moisture grabbing the dirt on the evap? It's not simply an accumulation of dry dirt...

Outside of the retainer of who's at fault, a filter changed once a day can still produce the same result of an evaporator coil dirt build up since the return air is leaking, is pulling air (and thus particles of dirt) from outside the particulate and observed as cause return filter.

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