Your Condenser and Evaporator Coils: Keep Them Clean, and Your Air Conditioner Will Keep You Cool

August 12, 2013
Ross and Witmer

Your air conditioner works hard to keep you comfortable during the long, hot Charlotte summer, and its efficiency depends on annual preventive maintenance. If you haven’t already scheduled your yearly tune-up, it’s not too late to benefit in these key ways:

During your tune-up, your qualified HVAC technician will perform a number of tasks, including inspecting your condenser and evaporator coils for dirt and grime buildup. If your coils are dirty, a thorough coil cleaning will be recommended.

What are coils?

The coils in your air conditioner are responsible for the exchange of heat. The evaporator coil in your indoor unit absorbs heat from the air in your home as it’s blown over the coil. The condenser coil in your outdoor unit sends the heat energy outside. If the coils are dirty, they won’t absorb or expel the heat efficiently and your air conditioner will have to work harder to keep you cool.

How are coils cleaned?

Your HVAC technician will use one of three methods to clean your coils, depending on how dirty they are.

  • Dusty coils are blown clean with low-pressure compressed air.
  • Dirty coils are scrubbed with a solution of detergent and water.
  • Grimy coils require a foaming chemical cleaner that’s sprayed on and allowed to sit for a period of time before being rinsed off.

Coil cleaning will include cleaning the condensate pan beneath the evaporator coil. Over time, debris and mold growth can build up and obstruct the drain, resulting in overflow and shutting down your system.

Keeping the coils clean

There are a few things you can do to keep your coils clean:

  • Maintain the area around your indoor unit to prevent dust from entering your system.
  • Hose down your outdoor unit each month to remove debris from the metal fins.
  • Check your air filter every month and replace it when it’s dirty.

For more expert advice about cleaning your condenser and evaporator coils, please feel free to contact the pros at Ross & Witmer. We’ve proudly served the Charlotte area since 1945.

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