Air Conditioner Maintenance: How to Use a Fin Comb

An important part of air conditioner maintenance is making sure the fins on your air conditioner are straight and open. Air conditioner fins are made of thin gauge metal, often aluminum, that is easily bent by stones or hail. Air is drawn into the condenser unit through these fins to allow cooling. Bent fins restrict air flow, reducing efficiency and causing freezing problems. An air conditioner fin comb is a quick and simple way to straighten bent fins.

Step 1 - Gain Access

Remove cover panel or protective screening to access the metal fins of the air conditioning unit.

Step 2 - Clean Fins

Use a vacuum cleaner to clean all the dust, dirt and debris from the air conditioner fins. If necessary, you can use a soft bristled brush to clean them.

Step 3 - Straighten Fins

There are many different kinds of fin combs on the market, including a universal one that has different sizes to fit different fins. Start at the top of the unit and place the teeth of the fin comb between fins. Draw the fin comb in a slow, downward motion and fins will be straightened as you go. Repeat this motion across all areas where bent fins are located until all fins are straight.