Keeping the A/C coils of the cooling system clean can make a big difference in your energy bills as well as keep your air conditioner happy and running strong for years to come. When the coils that circulate refrigerant become dirty, their ability to exchange heat diminishes in proportion to the blockage.
The coils are inside the air handler and the outdoor condenser. The evaporator coil in the air handler removes the heat from the air, and the condensing coil loses it to the outdoors. When either coil gets dirty, it takes longer to cool your home, driving up energy consumption, and may cause these problems as well:
- Your A/C Could Start/Stop Running Continually – Both the evaporator and condensing A/C coils can shut the system and by not cleaning the condensing coil periodically, the build up of debris eventually insulates it.. Most systems have a shut-off switch that detects these problems and the A/C might not run dependably until the debris is removed and the coils cleaned.
- It Can Strain and Wear Your Compressor– When dust covers the evaporator coil, it acts as insulation and won’t remove as much heat from the air. The refrigerant stays cold longer and can return to the compressor as a liquid. This strains the compressor and contributes to wear or part failure altogether.
- It Could Create Water Damage – If the evaporator coil has too much dust covering it, the coil can freeze over, which stops the cooling process. If the system doesn’t shut off immediately, the frost can overwhelm the drainage system, causing water damage.
The best way to avoid problems with either coil is to change the air filter routinely and hose off the outdoor condensing coil occasionally during the cooling season. These small steps can go a long way in making sure your A/C is running strong for the upcoming spring season!