HVAC Maintenance: How Often Should A/C Coils Be Cleaned?
For your air conditioning to work efficiently, it must be able to transfer heat from inside your home to the outside effectively. A coating of dirt, dust and other debris on the A/C coils can prevent this, by insulating the coils from the surrounding air and reducing the efficiency of the heat transfer process. To minimize energy usage and reduce utility costs, the A/C coils should be cleaned at least once a year.
The Importance of Clean A/C Coils
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.
How to Prevent Dirty Coils
To keep the evaporator coils clean, it is important to check the air filter at least once a month and replace it as necessary. A dirty air filter can allow dust and debris to accumulate on the evaporator instead of the air filter, and it can also reduce airflow in the system, leading to other problems. To keep the condenser coils clean, keep an area of two feet around the condenser unit clean of vegetation and debris, including trash, tall grass, plants and overhanging trees or bushes. Remove large debris as it falls into the condenser coils, and when mowing, be sure to discharge clippings away from the condenser.
Cleaning the Coils
The fins on the evaporator and condenser coils are extremely delicate and can be bent with very little force. It is best to leave the majority of the cleaning to an air conditioning contractor, who will clean the coils during a routine maintenance visit. Ideally, air conditioning maintenance should be performed twice a year, though once is sufficient for some systems. Between visits, the condenser coils can be cleaned by removing large debris and rinsing the coils with a hose, after shutting the power off. The evaporator is often difficult to access, and should be cleaned professionally.
To have your A/C coils inspected and cleaned, contact our team at Conditioned Air, serving Bradenton, Naples, and the rest of Southwest Florida.