HOW OFTEN SHOULD AC COILS BE CLEANED?

HOW OFTEN SHOULD AC COILS BE CLEANED?

Brandon Tenniswood
March 12, 2021

By far, air conditioning systems are the most used part of any Arizona household’s HVAC equipment. Keeping the two halves of your air conditioning system clean is a task that is so often forgotten. Everyone knows to change an air filter, that is simple enough. But not everyone is aware that that by itself will not keep the indoor coil clean forever by itself. Not to mention the fact that that does nothing to keep the outdoor coil clean at all.

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THE COILS GET DIRTY?

Did you know you have TWO coils? The air conditioning system runs on two halves, the indoor and outdoor coils. But what do they do? When the system kicks, the indoor coil is responsible for extracting heat from the air as the fan pumps air through it. The outdoor coils job is to dispense that heat into the outdoor air. Some households have electric systems called “heat pumps” which can run in the opposite direction to bring warm air in during colder months. These units can make the two coils simply switch roles.

Now as far as how cleanliness affects the coils, let us examine the environment the coils exist in. Starting with the indoor coil, it exists in a perpetually dark space. It also generates a cool environment due to it absorbing heat. As those coils get cold, they cause condensation to occur on their outsides, removing moisture from your household, but also leaving moisture around them. This creates the perfect storm for bacteria and mildew to form. This can coat the indoor coil and strangle it from receiving the proper amounts of airflow, making the unit work harder and be less effective all at the same time. This problem can be made worse if the air filter is missing, damaged, or severely dirty. Because now you are also adding debris from the household into the coil space, further clogging it. And let’s not talk about the conditions if you have pets! Pet hairs can also get stuck in the fins of your coils and even further reduce the airflow.

Stepping outside the conditions for the coil to remain clean are both better and worse, depending simply on perspective. On one hand, you do not have to worry about mildew and grime forming on the coil due to having plenty of fresh air, heat, and dry airspace. On the other hand, you now have all the debris the outdoors can throw at it. Depending of course on location, you can have everything from dust and dirt being kicked up from the wind, to leaves from various plant life, grass clippings from lawns, spider webs, and many things not mentioned here. All these things will collect on the outside of the unit, choking airflow. When the outdoor unit does not have access to its total potential airflow that it was designed for, the same thing happens as it does to the indoor unit. It works harder and performs with less efficiency than it is capable of.
It is estimated that dirty evaporator and condenser coils can increase the energy usage of your air conditioning system by over 30 percent. Additionally, reduced heat transfer efficiency can cause other problems, such as poor cooling performance, frozen evaporator coils and compressor overheating.

DIRTY OR BLOCKED COILS CAN LEAD TO:

HOW OFTEN SHOULD AC COILS BE CLEANED?

The question of when, is highly dependent on the conditions your particular coils exist in. Generally, it is advisable to have them cleaned once every 2-3 years minimum, but we recommend a maintenance plan that included a yearly coil clean. Check out our maintenance plans for great savings.

CAN I CLEAN MY AC COILS MYSELF?

The simple answer is yes, you can. But this is not advised. The longer and more accurate answer is that while you can perform a cleaning yourself, there are many considerations to make for performing that task. If you are comfortable performing a chemical cleaning, using a chemical that will not damage the delicate airflow fins that surround the coil pipes, or even the coils themselves, then by all means a homeowner can do this themselves. However, be careful when performing an indoor coil cleaning as some chemical cleaners can produce harmful fumes that will get circulated into your homes airspace.

SCHEDULE YOUR CLEANING TODAY!

For your peace of mind, the best thing we can advise is to let our trained and knowledgeable ComfortTechnicians clean your coils for you, not only to make sure they are allowed the best performance environments possible, but also to assess their general condition and catch small problems before they become big ones. In this way, we can work alongside you to make sure your heating and cooling bills are as low as possible, while making sure you get the most out of your equipment’s lifespan.

Visit our website for more valuable information and thank you for choosing AIR4U!

New System Quote