Keeping A/C evaporator coils clean boosts the system's efficiency and increases cooling capacity.
Your air conditioner comprises multiple parts that depend on being free from dirt to ensure the highest efficiency possible.
The A/C evaporator coil is a major component that can either make or break your energy costs. Keeping them clean also boosts the potential comfort level of your home, too.
The evaporator coil is located inside the typical furnace above the heat exchanger so circulating air can pass over it. As the blower/fan pulls warm, moist air into the system, the evaporator coil — along with the refrigerant — absorbs the heat energy and sends it/transfers it to the condenser(your outside unit). It also is the place where the moisture/humidity in your home condenses and goes out your drain line.
Under ideal conditions, like when the evaporator coils are clean, the system operates at peak efficiency.
Dirt buildup IS the coils' number one enemy. Dirt prohibits the proper transfer of heat over the coils, acting as an insulation of sorts that prevents heat from moving through the coils as it should.
Some experts estimate that dirty coils consume as much as 37 percent more energy than coils that are clean. Energy costs aren't the only consequence. Dirty coils have a direct correlation to a lower system cooling capacity, in worst-case scenarios delivering a 30 percent reduction in capacity.
The Technical Explanation: The dirt resting on coils increases the total pressure within the system when it's operating, and it increases operating temperatures, too. Over time, these conditions compromise the lubricant on the compressor, causing a costly system failure.
You can take several steps to prevent an expensive repair or system replacement and higher energy costs. Don't leave the cleanliness of your coils, and your air conditioner, to chance.
Here's how to keep your A/C evapoartor coils clean:
Pay attention to the air filter. Your air filter is the coils' first line of defense against dirt buildup inside the system. During the summer, when your air conditioner runs continuously, change the filter every four weeks, and even more often if you have pets that shed in the home or you're in the middle of a home-improvement project.
Professional service. Hopefully you see why regular maintenance is a good thing; schedule annual service for your cooling system. We follow industry-leading practices for cleaning the coils, which may include employing pressure-washing tools, a specialized vacuum or a foaming detergent.