Cleaning AC coils is a fundamental part of AC preventative maintenance as it will ensure that your unit works optimally during its lifespan and without needing to replace it before that.

Simply put, the evaporator coil is the part of the unit responsible for absorbing the heat from inside the house, and by working together with the other parts of the AC helps cool the home by transferring that head outside.

This means that your house won’t get as cool as you’d like when your AC evaporator coil doesn’t work correctly. 

In this blog, we will touch bases on the things you can do to keep your evaporator coil working optimally and discuss how to clean the AC evaporator coils inside the house.

What Are AC Evaporator Coils? 

Simply put, an AC evaporator coil is a part of the heat pump that absorbs moisture and heat from inside and works with the condenser to create cool air and perform the entire heat exchange cycle.

In order to understand how to clean AC coils and how they work, it’s crucial to understand how the entire unit functions. An AC isn’t like a furnace, meaning it can’t produce cold air like a furnace produces heat. An AC unit simply removes the heat from your home’s rooms, carrying the air through the unit and sending it outside. The refrigerant flows across the entire system, releasing and carrying the heat and cooling down the inside air.

Now, AC evaporator coils are made from heat-conducting materials like steel or copper. The coils absorb the heat as the refrigerant runs through them, moving out the coil and the rest of the system and finally exiting the unit through the condenser coils. 

A good and reliable AC evaporator coil should have a lifespan of at least ten to 15 years, given that it was correctly maintained. 

Depending on the unit you’re using, the evaporator coil can be inside the air handler or attached to the furnace. It’s located inside the AC systems portion that’s inside your house.

Air Conditioning Service, Repair & Maintenance Concept. Closeup at an Indoor Unit Coil

How to Clean The AC Evaporator Coil Inside The House? 

When it comes to how to clean AC coils, you should know that these parts of the air conditioning unit should be left to trained professionals.

Because an air conditioner is a high-voltage home device, touching and accidentally mishandling the internal parts could lead to dangerous outcomes, serious injuries, and even worse problems. Cleaning the AC coils should always be left to trained experts who will ensure that every evaporator coil issue gets properly addressed, evading potential problems and injuries. 

How To Identify AC Evaporator Coil Issues? 

Even if you don’t know how to clean AC evaporator coils, it’s still imperative that you know how to identify some telltale signs that the coils might need to be checked. 

In short, your evaporator coils may be failing when:

  • The unit isn’t turning on
  • The air released from the AC in your house is warm.
  • The unit starts but stops before properly cooling the house
  • Strange and unusual bangs and hisses coming from the unit
  • Refrigerant leaks from the unit’s indoor component

Main Coil Problems

Again, even if you don’t necessarily need to know the in-depth process of how to clean the coils of an AC unit, you should know what the main problems are that may require replacement or a maintenance session.

1. The Buildup of Dust

When it comes to your part in cleaning AC coils, the best thing you can do is to change your air filters regularly. When you miss this, the filter can clog itself, and the built-up dust and birt can deposit onto the coils jeopardizing their efficiency. As a matter of fact, the dust may act as insulation, which means it will keep the air away from the evaporator coils and the heat in them. Your AC will have to use more energy for longer, potentially causing even more problems as time goes on.

2. Frost Problems

When dust builds up on the evaporator coil, the refrigerant that runs through the system won’t warm up as it needs, and this will lead to the water vapor freezing instead of liquifying. This can eventually lead to the entire coil frosting over and might ultimately result in the unit breaking.

3. Leaks

As mentioned earlier, the AC evaporator coils are responsible for absorbing the heat. Tiny leaks may form from the mixture of the chemicals that may be found in household air and condensation. Oily residue around the coil can be a good telltale sign that there might be a problem that may require evaporation coil cleaning or unit servicing – naturally, by a trained expert.

Always Address Dirty Coils ASAP

Now that you know how to clean AC coils (or at least your part), it’s also crucial to know that you shouldn’t wait with a dirty coil that’s still operating. As mentioned already, a dirty coil will take longer to do its job properly, causing unnecessary stress on the unit and lowering air quality in the process.

Regular coil servicing can go a long way in keeping the health of your unit optimal. Professional maintenance may sound like a chore, and you might choose to clean the AC evaporator coil yourself. Still, as mentioned above, if you don’t have proper training, a simple cleaning may result in an injury or even more AC problems. Your most crucial part in this process would be to regularly change the unit’s air filters and regularly report any oddities that you might experience with your unit.

Coil cleaning can be performed during regular unit maintenance, where a trained expert inspects the entire until and check refrigerant levels and the other inner workings of the unit.

On that end, filthy coils will often require power-washing and the use of heavy-duty chemical compounds that require special care.

Coil Replacement

Some issues, like frozen or leaking coils, may call for replacement. In these cases, the HVAC professional will recover the refrigerant gas that’s left in the AC and will solder in a new coil. When they are done, they will ensure that everything works correctly by going over the cooling process three times at least. They may also adjust the refrigerant levels and replace air filters to make sure that everything runs as supposed to. 

Air Conditioning Service, Repair & Maintenance Concept. The Technician Repairing the Air Conditioner

Some Jobs Are Best Left For Professionals

As you can see, cleaning your evaporator coils is one of those more serious jobs that require proper training and even tools to get it done the right way. 

As a responsible homeowner, your primary role in helping these coils keep functioning correctly is to make sure that there’s no dust buildup by changing the air filters regularly. As mentioned, dust can also lead to frost-related problems, often requiring coil replacement.

Additionally, with regular professional maintenance, you can ensure that your coil and entire unit work as supposed to.

As such, feel free to give us a call if you are experiencing any AC-related issues. We will do our best to get to the bottom of the problem and get your unit back on track as soon as possible.