Dirty evaporator coils can dent the efficiency of your unit. Here’s everything you need to know about cleaning an HVAC evaporator coil.
While Nebraska isn’t well-know for scorching temperatures, like seen in the southern U.S., temperatures can reach the 90s during the summertime and well into the fall.
And with temperatures staying high, an HVAC system that cools properly is a must.
Unfortunately, more than a few problems can arise. But preventative maintenance can assure your system runs properly.
One of these steps is to clean the evaporator coil. But first, here’s why it’s such an important component of your HVAC system.
Evaporator Coils Are Important
The evaporator coil in the interior air handling unit captures heat from the air inside of your home. Then the condenser coils, located in the outside unit, release the captured heat into the air.
In most cases, evaporator coils are copper and surrounded by aluminum fins to improve the heat transfer.
They’re extremely important to your AC system’s cooling performance. They create cold air to keep your building or home comfortable – even when temperatures soar and remain high.
The evaporator coils also help dehumidify your home. As the coils cool, interior moisture condenses on them and is removed from air in the home.
The Dangers of Dirtiness
If evaporator coils get dirty, their performance is reduced. Air blowing across the coils typically contains pollen, dust and other particulates.
Because coils are typically damp, contaminates easily stick to them. Over time, enough material accumulate to impact their overall performance.
If evaporator and condenser coils get dirty, they can cause several issues, including:
- Ice buildup on the coils
- Reduced heat transfer
- Increased system wear, resulting in damage
- Reduced cooling capacity
- Increased operating temperatures and pressures
- Increased energy consumption
When coils are dirty, your system requires more energy to run effectively. Over time, this causes higher utility charges. But by cleaning the evaporator coils, you can prevent all this
How to Clean Evaporator Coils
Now you know how important evaporator coils are, the next step is to learn how to clean them.
1) Get ready
Are you ready to get started? If so, gather the needed supplies. These include:
- Household bleach
- Large hand mirror
- Stiff brush
If your AC has a sealed plenum, you can’t clean the coils yourself. Call us at (402) 731-2727 and have a professional take care of this for you.
2) Gain access
As long as your system isn’t sealed shut, remove the access panel on your indoor air handling unit. You should be able to see the evaporator coils.
If you don’t, refer to your manual to find out where they are located.
Once you access the coils, do the following:
- Turn your unit off at the thermostat
- Remove fasteners
- Put the screws and panels where they won’t be separated or lost
3) Clean with a stiff brush
Check if the evaporator will slide out slightly. Use the stiff brush and mirror to clean the underside of your unit.
Clean out the tray beneath the evaporator. It carries condensation away. Put a tablespoon of bleach or a similar cleaner into the weep hole to prevent fungus growth.
If there’s a lot of moisture, there might be a blockage in the drain line. If so, use the wire to open it up.
4) Clean with compressed air
Another method to clean your evaporator coil is compressed air. It’s simpler and effective.
- Direct the air across the coil (opposite the usual airflow)
- Move the nozzle closer to the dirt for tougher problems
- Keep a consistent flow of air across the coil
- Avoid blowing debris into the ducts
Call Pros for Additional Help
Using these tips should help you clean your system’s evaporator coil. But if you need help or just aren’t sure you can handle the job, call us at (402) 731-2727 and we’ll get the job done right.
Our team can resolve any type of plumbing or HVAC issue you have. In the long run, we can help keep your home’s systems operating properly, year after year.