Evaporator coils are an integral part of an air conditioner. They are either located within the air handler or attached to the furnace. These coils perform the important function of absorbing heat from the air that circulates inside your home. If you want your AC to work efficiently, you need to keep the evaporator coils clean. But do you know how to clean the air conditioner evaporator coils? If not, this article is just for you.
Check Whether Evaporator Coils Need To Be Cleaned
The first step is to check whether the evaporator coils are dirty. If they have collected dirt and debris, they need to be cleaned. In some areas, where there is a higher concentration of dust particles in the air, the evaporator coils get dirty more often and may need monthly cleaning. Otherwise, quarterly or annual cleaning is more than sufficient.
Gaining Access To The Evaporator Coils
The evaporator coils are not on full display. As mention above, they are located inside the air handler unit. This is that part of the AC which is inside the home. To expose the evaporator coils, you need to remove the access panel. Before you do that, disconnect the AC from the main power source. When you remove the top access panel, keep all the screws and fasteners safely because you will need to put them back again once the coils are cleaned.
How To Clean Air Conditioner Evaporator Coils?
Believe it or not, there is more than one way to clean the evaporator coils. Below is a list of ways in which you can clean them.
1. Compressed Air Cleaning – When the coils are just slightly dirty, you can use compressed air to clean them. It will loosen the accumulated particles and blow them away. Always remember, compressed air should be directed in the opposite or reverse direction of the normal airflow. If you are using air at high pressure, apply it directly through the fins so that you don’t damage them. Also, ensure that you don’t blow in more dust while trying to clean the evaporator coils.
2. Brush Cleaning – You can also use a brush to clean the coils. When there is a small accumulation of dust, the gentle brushing of the coils is enough to clean them. However, if the accumulation is more, you can scrub the coils with a brush to dislodge the unwanted particles. The good thing is that this method does not require you to use either chemicals or liquids on your AC. The only thing of importance is to use a brush with soft bristles so that you don’t damage the fins.
3. Cleaning With Mild Detergents And Water – This is more a DIY kind of solution where you make your own cleaning agent by mixing warm water and some mild detergent. Pour this mix in a spray bottle for the easy application on the coils. Spray the mix generously over the evaporator coils and allow it to sit for some time. This will soak the dust and loosen it. Using a rag or a soft cloth wipe it away. Reapply the mix or solution until the coils are satisfactorily clean.
4. Cleaning With Commercial Cleaners – Nowadays, a plethora of commercial cleaners are available in the market to clean the AC coils. These cleaners are foaming type and drain away through the AC’s drainage system. Commercial cleaners are safe to use and get rid of even the most stubborn particles. Before using any commercial cleaner, read the instructions and precautions as stated on the product itself. Spray the cleaner liberally over the coils and wait for a few minutes to let the foaming action complete its magic. In some cases, the foam will drain away with the debris on its own and in other cases, you may have to wipe it away. This will, however, be mentioned in the instructions, so read them carefully. If need be, you can reapply the cleaner until the coils are completely free of any build-up.
5. Heavy-Duty Cleaning – If the build-up of dust and debris is heavy and persistent, you need to call in the big guns. Ideally, you should not undertake heavy-duty cleaning of the evaporator coils on your own. It is because such cleaning may involve the removal of coils, refilling of refrigerant, etc. These things are best handled by HVAC maintenance professionals. For the heavy-duty cleaning of the evaporator coils, book an appointment with your local HVAC maintenance company. They will send a person with the proper knowledge, training, and equipment to complete the job done in no time.
Once you have cleaned or replace evaporator coils, replace the access panel, and tighten all the fasteners. Restore the power supply to the AC and feel the difference cleaning has made. The satisfaction of completing a job yourself will be immense.
Why Do Evaporator Coils Need To Be Cleaned?
Dirty evaporator coils can cause problems to arise in the working of your air conditioner. They –
1. Increase the consumption of energy resulting in inflated electricity bills.
2. Decrease the cooling capacity, so the home takes longer to cool.
3. Increases the wear and tear of the different components of AC due to continuous strain.
4. Cause severe damage to the AC and also reduce its lifespan.
To get full money’s worth from your AC, you need to get preventive maintenance of the AC done every year.
In The End
Now that you know how to clean the air conditioner evaporator coils, you can undertake this task yourself. Cleaning the coils is not only easy but also inexpensive. Moreover, doing it yourself saves a few extra dollars and reduces your dependency on others. If you want to prevent the coils from becoming dirty, change the air filters often. Florida homeowners can contact Aztil AC any time to take care of these little things as well as anything else that pertains to your AC. we are here to take care of your problems so that you can rest easy and concentrate on what really matters.