Cleaning The Evaporator Coils Is An Essential Part Of Air Conditioning Maintenance

Posted on: 17 November 2020

An important part of air conditioning maintenance is to keep the evaporator coils clean. When you call an AC service to provide yearly maintenance, the technician checks and cleans the coils, but you might also need to clean them yourself during the summer. Here's why keeping the coils clean is important for your AC and a look at how you can clean them.

Why Evaporator Coils Need To Be Cleaned

Evaporator coils accumulate dust. The AC pulls air in from your home, so the amount of dust and dirt that accumulates depends on how much dust is in your house. There may be more at times and less at other times, depending on indoor and outdoor factors.

When dust builds up on the coils, the refrigerant can't work as well. The coils house the refrigerant in your air conditioner and the coils need to be as clean as possible to cool down your home efficiently. Dirty coils block the refrigerant so your home won't cool down, and your AC will run longer and drive up your power bill.

How You Can Clean The Coils

Consult the manual for your AC before you attempt to clean the coils yourself. You want to know how to access the coils and what cleaning methods to use so you don't void your warranty. Also, be sure to disconnect the power before removing the cover panel on your AC.

Evaporator coils can be cleaned in a couple of ways. If you have a cleaning brush with soft bristles, you can use it to brush off dry dust and to scrub off the grime that's stuck to the coils. You may need to use a mild soapy solution to break up the grime that's stuck.

While the coils may have a coating of dry dust, the dust can get wet since condensation forms on the coils. The wet dust can get caked on and be difficult to remove without scrubbing. Be sure to handle the coils gently and not use abrasive brushes or cleaners. If you break the coils or cause a hole to develop, you will be left with expensive repairs.

An easier way to clean evaporator coils is to use cleaning foam made for that purpose. You spray the foam on and let it dissolve the dust and grime. You don't have to rinse off the foam or wipe it away. As the foam drips off the coils, it goes into the condensation pan and drains away from your AC without making a mess. You may need to apply the foam more than once to get the coils clean.

Why Professional Cleaning Is Still Important

An air conditioning maintenance technician can clean the coils more thoroughly, and they can even remove them if it's necessary. A technician can be more thorough because they have the skills, equipment, and cleaners to do the job, and they don't have to worry about voiding the warranty as you do.

You may not need to clean the coils between visits from the AC maintenance service, but it's good to know how in case the coils get too dusty. You can talk to the technician about the right way to clean the coils and the right type of foam or cleaners to use to make sure you do the job right and don't harm your AC.

To learn more, reach out to a local air conditioning maintenance service.