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Air conditioners are expensive devices, which is why it’s so important to keep them looking their best. There are several things you can do to maintain your air conditioner, including cleaning the vents and adding refrigerant, but one thing that shouldn’t be overlooked is cleaning the coils inside the unit. Both coils in any air conditioner play a vital role in cooling the air, so dust or dirt on them can affect the function of the unit or even the entire HVAC system. Below is a brief description of how to clean an air conditioning coil.
An introduction to cleaning air conditioning coils
Air conditioners work by pushing a working fluid called refrigerant back and forth between two metal coils: an evaporator and a condenser. As refrigerant flows from one coil to another, the pressure change causes it to change from liquid to gas and vice versa. This in turn causes heat to transfer to the metal coils, making the condenser hot and the evaporator cold. When the blower directs the air in your home over the cold evaporator coil, it cools the air before releasing it back into the room. The process involves more moving parts, but the entire system operates on the backside of the two coils. To this end, cleaning the air conditioning coil is an important part of air conditioning maintenance. If the evaporator and condenser coils are not working properly, the entire air conditioning system can suffer, and you’ll see the results on your monthly electricity bill.
If you’re familiar with the inner workings of machines like air conditioners, you can clean the coils yourself without any special tools – we’ll cover the cleaning process later in this article. However, for most people, cleaning their AC coils is just part of their regular annual maintenance visit with an HVAC technician. Anyone with an air conditioner needs to make these standard annual appointments so you can check pressure, add refrigerant, and perform other preventative maintenance. For this reason, it often makes more sense to simply leave the cleaning to the appointment and let a professional do it rather than handle the work yourself.
A quick Google search for “clean my AC coil” or “AC coil cleaning service near me” is a good place to start, but ultimately you want to find an HVAC contractor you can work with long-term. Cleaning the coils is only part of a full service visit, and even the most perfect evaporators and condensers won’t help if drains are clogged or refrigerant leaks. With proper maintenance, your air conditioner should last a decade or more without replacement.
Only a Reputable Duct Cleaning Company should be hired.
To be certain that your ducts are thoroughly cleaned, always use the services of professionals like Green Air Duct Club. Because we’ve worked with both residential and business clients on duct cleaning projects, we’d be delighted to assist you. Customers in San Antonio, Texas, rely on us for HVAC and air duct cleaning san antonio services. Additional services such as duct sanitizing and dryer vent cleaning may be ordered at an affordable price. Just give us a call and we’ll take care of the rest – including a free on-site assessment and an air duct cleaning that’ll leave your house cleaner and healthier than ever before!
Why you need to clean AC coils
There are many benefits to cleaning air conditioning coils, but in most cases it comes down to the efficiency and effectiveness of the unit. Dust and grime that accumulates on the coil surfaces can reduce the heat transfer efficiency that keeps the entire system running. The effects of this core inefficiency will spread to the rest of the system, causing increased utility bills, inconvenience to you and your family, and ultimately long-term damage to the components inside the unit. You can think of it as preventive maintenance for your car – while keeping everything clean and well-maintained all the time can be a chore, it’s still easier and cheaper than fixing the big problems that come with it.
When dirt and grime partially hinder heat transfer to the coil, the air conditioner has to work harder to compensate for this inefficiency. It turns on more often, runs longer, and if you have a variable refrigerant flow unit, it squeezes more juice into the motor to make it work harder. A direct consequence of this is that the system requires significantly more power to operate. Because air conditioners are notorious energy hogs, you may immediately see inefficiencies in your electricity bills even if they are functioning properly. The longer you leave the problem, the more dust and grime collect on the coil, and the higher your bill will be.
Dirty coils also have other consequences. When a system is forced to work harder and run longer, it not only consumes more energy, it also causes wear and tear on the mechanical components inside the device. Fans, belts, bearings and other moving parts wear out faster and require more frequent repairs to keep the air conditioner running. This becomes a self-perpetuating cycle – dirt forces the device to work harder, which damages moving parts inside, forces the system to work harder to recover from damage, etc. Not only does this mean expensive repairs, but it can also shorten the life of your air conditioner by years.
Ultimately, all the dirt and grime that builds up on the coil contributes to metal corrosion. Small cracks and holes in the coil eventually need to be replaced completely. In addition, corrosion can spread to the refrigerant lines, causing leakage of the working fluid. A low coolant level can seriously affect the operation of the air conditioning system. All of these issues can affect the life of the device. So if you don’t keep your coils clean, you’ll just end up incurring some serious financial costs.
If you’re wondering “How do I clean the coils myself?” there are plenty of guides to help you, including later in this blog. However, changing your own refrigerant is difficult and potentially dangerous without the right equipment, so it’s best to save it for an appointment with an HVAC technician.
How to Spot the Signs of Dirty Air Conditioning Coils
There are many signs of dirty AC coils, but the main ones are just the inefficiencies we talked about in the previous section. If you find that your air conditioner turns on more often than usual and stays on for longer than usual, this may indicate a dirty coil. Unfortunately, there are many different communication problems with the same symptoms. So it’s good to know what a dirty AC coil looks like so you can open the device and see for yourself. Any type of dirt, dust, or ingrained grime is a potential problem on the coils, so they should be cleaned immediately.
If you don’t really pay attention to the sound of the air conditioner while it’s running, you can still spot the symptoms of a dirty coil by checking your electricity bill. Any increase in power consumption could mean that something is forcing the air conditioner to work harder than usual, possibly a dirty coil. If you notice that your monthly bill is increasing and you are not sure why, you should contact an HVAC technician so they can inspect the equipment and determine the cause of the inefficiency.
Sometimes dirt can cause moisture to condense on the evaporator coil. If not cleaned, this water will eventually freeze and prevent the coil from working. If you notice water dripping from the device, it may mean that the coil is frozen and needs cleaning. You can remove ice from the coil yourself, but we recommend turning off the unit and waiting for it to melt before cleaning the coil. The metal spool is very fragile and can easily be damaged when trying to break the ice.
If you experience any of these symptoms, we recommend contacting your HVAC contractor. AC problems can be difficult to diagnose without opening the unit and looking inside, and hiring a professional is extremely cheap compared to the cost of new parts or replacing the air conditioner.
At Green Air Duct Club, we are always here to answer any questions you may have and provide you with the best possible service. Please feel free to reach out to us