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Cleaning A/C Coils: Why It's Important for Regular Maintenance

July 23, 2013 | Blog

The long Texas summer has arrived, and that means your air conditioner is working around the clock to keep you cool. If you haven’t already scheduled your annual preventive maintenance, it’s not too late to reap the many benefits. By scheduling that maintenance now, you can:

  • Lower your cooling costs.
  • Extend the life of your air conditioner.
  • Ensure efficient operation of your system.
  • Prevent expensive and inconvenient midsummer breakdowns.

In conjunction with your spring tune-up, ask your qualified HVAC technician about cleaning your A/C coils. Your system has two coils that work together to keep you cool:

  • The evaporator coil, which is in your indoor unit, absorbs the heat from your home’s air.
  • The condenser coil, which is in your outdoor unit, sends the heat outside.

When your coils are dirty, the transfer of heat requires more energy, raising your electricity bills and reducing the efficiency of your system. Your HVAC technician will clean your coils in one of three ways, depending on how dirty they are.

  • Coils with a little dust buildup can be blown clean with low-pressure condensed air.
  • Dirtier coils will be scrubbed with a solution of water and mild detergent.
  • Heavily-soiled coils will need a commercial-grade foaming coil cleaner that is sprayed on, allowed to sit for a period of time and rinsed clean. Heavy grime and dirt may require two or more applications of the cleaner. It’s always best to opt for a biodegradable cleaner that can be safely rinsed down the drain.
  • Coils that have dirt packed in them in many cases have to be pulled and cleaned with a pressure sprayer.  If your coil is more than 8 years old it may be better to replace the coil than to clean it.

Once your coils are clean, there are several things you can do to help keep them that way:

  • Regularly vacuum the area around your indoor unit to keep dust from building up on your coils and other system components.
  • Hose down your outdoor condensing unit monthly to remove debris and dirt trapped in the metal fins.
  • Check your air filter monthly, and replace it when you can no longer see through it.

For more expert advice about cleaning your A/C coils and keeping your system humming all summer long, contact the experts at Mathews CCAC. We proudly serve south Texas homeowners.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Corpus Christi, Texas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about A/C coils and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

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