How to Clean AC Coils & Keep Your System Running Smoothly
Modern-day air conditioning is something we often take for granted. Just think about how far we’ve come. Back in the 18th century, Colonial Americans must have been constantly hot and sweaty (and yes, smelly) during the summertime. Wearing all that linen and wool all day long in the heat of a Virginia summer—with no means of staying cool! Oh my. It makes us sweat just thinking about it.
These days, when the sun beats down and heats our bodies, we simply walk indoors and enjoy the cool relief of air conditioning (Thank you, Willis Carrier!) And we can keep cool by wearing loose cotton and breathable clothing—not breeches, waistcoats, and long scratchy stockings! In fact, it’s safe to say most of today’s Americans would have made very poor colonials in the summer months.
Now that you have that vision of sweaty colonists in your mind, are you giving thanks for air conditioning? We know we are! So, this season, why not show your appreciation by giving your AC system some TLC. And the best way to do this is with annual AC maintenance—starting with cleaning your air conditioning coils.
Here’s What You Need to Know About AC Coils
If you’re not a seasoned homeowner, you may not know how important your AC coils are, or even what they are. No fear, Conway Services is here to help!
What are AC coils?
In a typical central AC system, there are two coils: evaporator coils that cool the air and condenser coils that dissipate the heat.
Where can you find them?
The condenser coils are found in the outside unit behind the panel of the unit. It The evaporator coil is found inside the home and is part of the air handler. It can be found on the air intake side of the fan coil or the outlet side of the furnace.
How often should you clean the AC coils?
Just as you clean things around your home, both the condenser coils and evaporator coils should be cleaned when they are dirty. But how dirty they get will depend on how often you use your air conditioner. Heavy AC use calls for more cleaning. The more you use your AC system, the more debris and dirt will accumulate on your coils. Your best bet is to call for regular cooling maintenance before summer starts and let a professional such as Conway assess how dirty the coils are. We can clean them professionally or at the least, let you know it’s time for you to clean them yourself (if you so desire).
Can you clean AC coils yourself?
While we recommend a professional cleaning of AC coils, you can certainly do it yourself if you follow the proper guidelines. Keep in mind, if you don’t clean your AC coils properly, you could cause serious damage to your system that will be costly to repair. You may even damage your system badly enough that you need a total HVAC replacement. However, if you have some experience with air conditioning maintenance and decide to clean your AC coils on your own, we’ve got some guidelines to help you.
A Quick Guide to Cleaning AC Coils
If you have some experience with air conditioning maintenance and decide to clean your AC coils on your own, please fFollow these step-by-step directions to get started:.
- Turn your AC system off. Make sure the power is off at the electrical breaker.
- Remove the access panel on your indoor unit. Locate the evaporator coils which look like large flat tubes and will be found inside the air handler.
- Locate any chunks of dirt on the coils and gently brush away any debris with a nylon brush. It’s a good idea to start at the top and work your way down. Vacuum up the dirt when finished.
- Use a foaming cleanser designed specifically for coil cleaning or you can use a mild dish soap mixed with water. Spray it on the coils. Let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes. After about 10 minutes, loosen any dirt left on the coils. Rinse gently with water from a spray bottle.
- Dry the coils with a soft towel (or let them air dry) and put your panel back on.
- Power back on your AC unit and enjoy the cool air!
The Benefits of Clean AC Coils
A buildup of grime and dirt on your air conditioning coils is going to make your system work harder than it needs to. This results in more energy use and less system efficiency. When you clean your AC coils, regularly, you will experience many benefits.
- Fewer breakdowns
- Longer lifespan of system
- Lower energy bills
- Better indoor comfort
So, what are you waiting for? Grab those gloves, some supplies, and start cleaning!
Need Further AC Assistance?
If you’ve got better things to do on a weekend than clean your AC evaporator and condenser coils (and we hope you do), give us a call! We can come out and take a look for free, and if your system needs its components cleaned, we’ll recommend the best course of action.
Or, If cleaning your AC coils yourself doesn’t boost your indoor comfort and you’re not seeing the results you had hoped for, then we recommend you call Conway Services for some professional service. We offer regular AC maintenance, AC repair, and AC installation for all types of cooling systems.
Remember, as the weather warms up, you don’t want to feel like an 18th century colonist wearing layers upon layers of wool clothing! You want to stay comfy and cool in your own home—and this starts with smart AC maintenance. Call the team at Conway Services today and we’ll help you keep your cool.