How to Clean and Care for Your AC’s Evaporator Coils

The scorching heat of summer will be here before you know it. If you’re like most homeowners, you want to keep your air conditioner working as efficiently as possible throughout the entirety of the cooling season. The easiest and most effective thing you can do is to schedule yearly maintenance appointments for your AC.

During these AC tune-ups, a professional will thoroughly clean and inspect all working components inside the unit. He or she will be able to detect potential problems before they result in a breakdown of your air conditioning system. In addition to checking how well your AC functions, the technician will also make sure that the system is running safely and without any potential wiring issues that could result in a fire.

Maintenance appointments and routinely changing your system’s air filter will help to keep your AC running efficiently and can also help to prevent unforeseen breakdowns. However, did you know that there is another simple AC maintenance task that you could be taking care of on a regular basis to further prevent any issues? Read on to learn more.

Your AC’s evaporator coils — what are they?

Evaporator coils are found inside an air conditioner’s indoor air handling unit, and they are responsible for capturing the heat that’s in the air inside your home. Once that heat is captured, the condenser coils (which are in the unit outside your home) release it — with a number of steps to the process in between.

The evaporator coils are essential when it comes to the overall cooling process and with keeping your home comfortable. They also help with the dehumidification process. After capturing heat in your home, the coils eventually cool off and when this happens, water condenses on them. The water drips into a drain pan and ultimately flows away from the AC.

How do I clean evaporator coils?

To clean these coils, shut off power to the AC and remove the access panel on the indoor air handling unit. If you aren’t sure where this panel is, consult the owner’s manual.

Once the panel has been removed, use a can of condensed air to blow away any dirt or dust that has built up on the surface of the coils. If there are bits of dirt on the coils that aren’t being blown off, use a brush to lightly scrub at them. This should help to remove the build-up quickly and easily. Once you’ve finished cleaning the coils, put the access panel securely back into place and restore power to the system.

If you aren’t comfortable with cleaning your AC’s evaporator coils, or if there is dirt build-up that just will not come off at all, you can consult with a cooling professional for assistance.

What happens if I don’t clean the coils?

Dirty evaporator coils could lead to a number of problems, such as:

  • Inability to properly cool all rooms and levels of your home
  • Premature wear and tear on the coils and other components of the system
  • Frequent cycling on/off of the system, leading to an uncomfortable home and higher energy bills
  • High humidity levels in the home due to the coils not being able to properly assist in the dehumidification process

Additional protection for your AC

For extra AC protection, consider enrolling in our affordable Cooling Maintenance and Cooling Repair plans. These plans will help you to get the most out of your AC and help to ensure that it continues running efficiently for many years to come. Visit us online and enter your ZIP code to see if these plans are available in your area.