The AC installed in your home or building is not a simple machine. It is a complex unit comprising several different components, each of which has a distinctive role to play. One such crucial part of the AC is the air conditioning coils. In a cooling system that has two units (indoor and outdoor), there are two sets of coils, one for each part. Typically, the coils are not visible to the naked eye as they are encased inside the system’s main body. Not being able to see them does not mean their care and maintenance can be overlooked.
What Do The Air Conditioning Coils Do?
As mentioned, there are two sets of coils in the cooling system. Both play a vital role in keeping the interiors of a home or a building cool. Let us briefly understand the job each coil performs.
1. Evaporator Coils – Evaporator coils are located inside the indoor unit of the cooling system. These coils extract the heat and moisture from the indoor air and make it cool before sending it back indoors.
2. Condenser Coils – Condenser coils are located inside the outdoor unit of the cooling system. The heat extracted by the evaporator coils needs to be expelled outdoors, and this is where the condenser coils come into action. They expel the heat removed from the air inside the home, outside.
Suffice to say, the evaporator coils and the condenser coils, together, complete the cooling process. If one fails in its designated function, the complete cooling process is compromised.
Why Do Air Conditioning Coils Need To Be Cleaned Yearly?
Dust is a pesky contaminant that can get inside anything through the most minute openings. It makes clean surfaces dirty, causes allergies, and often makes machines malfunction. Therefore, coming across dust inside the AC should not be a surprise.
Dust is the biggest enemy of AC coils. Over time it slowly and steadily enters the AC and deposits over the coils. As the dust build-up increases, the indoor coils cannot extract the heat and moisture from the indoor air adequately. Similarly, the outdoor coils fail to expel the extracted heat. As a result, the stress on the cooling system increases. This leads to a drop in efficiency, high power bills, and frequent malfunctions. All this occurred because there was dust on the coils. Nonetheless, there is an effective remedy – annual AC maintenance.
The AC maintenance routine undertaken by the HVAC technicians will also address the issue of dirty coils. Cleaning is an integral part of the maintenance regime in which the coils are also given a thorough cleaning. Thankfully dust build-up does not happen in a few days. It takes months. Consequently, annual cleaning of the air conditioning coils is an adequate safety measure.
Who Should Clean The AC Coils?
The evaporator and condenser coils are housed within the AC. To reach them, it is necessary to uncover the unit’s body. As a rule, no homeowner should ever undertake any DIY activity that involves opening up the unit. We strongly urge homeowners to refrain from such activities. We say this because once you uncover the unit, there is much harm you can do unknowingly. The repercussions of any mistake would be too expensive and also render the product warranty null and void.
Any activity that requires opening up the heating and cooling system should be undertaken by trained and certified HVAC technicians only.
How HVAC Technicians Clean The AC Coils
There are two ways in which the HVAC technicians will clean the AC coils. Mostly all technicians use a combination of both to get rid of every layer of dust and grime deposited on the coils. These methods are:
1. Cleaning AC Coils With Compressed Air – Condensed air is typically used to clean the coils in the outdoor condenser unit. The evaporator coils housed inside the indoor unit are not cleaned in this manner because blowing air over them will disperse dust and debris inside the house.
The HVAC technician will blow compressed air through the coils. The direction of airflow at this time would be opposite to the one in which the air blows when the AC is in use. In essence, the technician blows air through the cleaner side to the dirtier side, all the while ensuring the air blows straight through the fins and not an angle. This care is imperative as the fins are very delicate and can get damaged easily. After this, using a vacuum, the technician will suck in all the loosened dust, dirt, and debris from the coil surface.
2. Cleaning AC Coils Using Commercial Cleaners – There will still be some particles sticking to the coils after blowing compressed air. This is when the commercial cleaner will be put to use. There are several varieties of effective commercial cleaners available today, like foaming cleaners. These are available in pressure cans and even low-pressure sprayers.
When cleaning the condenser coil, the technician will try and clear away as much surface debris as possible by hand or using a fin brush. Next, they apply a commercial cleaner and rinse the coils depending on the instructions on the cleaner. To clean the evaporator coils, the technician will first remove large accumulations by hand or brush. After that, they apply a self-rinsing cleaning product that will clean the coil and rinse off when the AC is switched on.
Annually cleaning the AC coils is necessary if you don’t want to deal with system overheating, high energy bills, and ineffective cooling. You don’t have to schedule the cleaning of coils separately. It is all a part of the annual maintenance routine. All you need to do is schedule the AC maintenance timely, year after year.
If you are a resident of West Palm Beach, Florida, and want to schedule your AC maintenance, contact Aztil Air Conditioning at +1-888-729-8452. We are a leading HVAC contractor, operating in South Florida since 1981. Our business is licensed and insured, and all our technicians are certified and experienced in handling AC repairs, maintenance, and installations. Rest easy, for we provide world-class services at affordable rates.