How To Clean Air Conditioner Coils

It is now officially AC season, and if you haven’t cleaned your air conditioner coils yet this year, act now to keep your system running at its best through the hot summer months. Cleaning your air conditioning unit’s coils now will improve your system’s efficiency, save you money, and ensure the unit’s long-term functionality. While you might want to take on this job yourself, a qualified technician from B.A.C. Systems Inc. can carry out the cleaning professionally for better results.

Where Are the Coils?

Most home systems now have two units and two sets of coils to clean. These coils have two different functions and are housed in two separate units.

The most visible unit is the outdoor unit, and it is the most susceptible to cobwebs, dry leaves, and other outdoor debris. It contains the condensing coil, which releases the heat pulled out of the house. The coils are generally held inside aluminum fins. If you’ve ever taken a look at your car’s radiator, you will recognize a similar construction.

The indoor unit contains the evaporator or cooling coil. The indoor unit may not need to be cleaned as often as the outdoor unit but should be inspected just as often.

Cleaning the Coils

Cleaning the coils is not exactly an easy process. Before you access the units, shut off the power to the indoor and outdoor units. Next, you need to access the coils by removing casings and any guards or shields over them. This is not a complicated task, and you can do this on your own with a screwdriver and your manual if you have some basic proficiency with hand tools. You can then inspect the fins over the coils to see if they are blocked with cobwebs, dirt, or other obstructions. Remove any obvious large debris.

Now that the coils are exposed, you see the fins around the coils. These are made from delicate, very thin aluminum and can easily be damaged. For this reason, it’s best to have B.A.C. Systems Inc. technicians do the actual cleaning unless you are comfortable with the work needed.

If you choose to do the cleaning, gently brush the fins clean. Next, use one of the following methods:

Detergent — Gently spray a mixture of household cleaning detergent on the coil and then rinse with another light spray of water. In no case should a pressure washer setting be used to carry out this cleaning as it can quickly damage the fins, coils, or other parts.

Industrial Cleaners — A professional may choose to use one of the many industrial cleaning products available for AC unit cleaning. If you have access to one of these cleaners, prepare the fins as before, and clean it with the product according to its instructions. Some of these products are spray foams, while others are available to use in industrial sprayers using low pressure. Most of the products require a clean water rinse after use.

Compressed Air — With proper care and training, the coils can be cleaned with compressed air. It is important to use the correct pressure setting and pay attention to the angle of airflow to avoid damaging the fins. When blowing air through the fins, aim the nozzle clearly through the fins without blowing any pressure from the sides. While it’s also possible to clean indoor units with compressed air, you will want to clean the area around the unit to avoid blowing dust and dirt throughout the surrounding room.

After you have finished the cleaning, reassemble all the shields and casings properly to protect your AC system.

Benefits of Cleaning Coils

A regularly scheduled cleaning of your air conditioner coils gives you several benefits. Clean coils help the system to operate at a lower temperature while also decreasing stress on other parts of the AC units. An inefficient system might be able to bring the temperature down in your home, but it will have more trouble reducing humidity, which is the second key function of your AC system. An increase in efficiency equals less work for your system and more efficient cooling, saving you cash.

B.A.C. Systems Inc. is here to meet all your AC maintenance needs. We’re proud of our A+ rating from the BBB and Angie’s List, and proud of being an ENERGY STAR-rated company. For the best cleaning of your AC coils, call a professional from B.A.C. Systems Inc. to get the job done right. We offer heating, cooling, roofing, masonry, gutter, and boiler services.

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