While air conditioner coils need to be professionally cleaned once a year, there are some things homeowners can do to reduce dirt and grime on them throughout the cooling season. For those in the greater Salt Lake City, UT, area, S.O.S. Heating & Cooling cleans air conditioner coils as part of its annual maintenance visits. Here is what you can do to keep them clean in between annual visits from a professional heating and cooling company.
Reasons to Clean Air Conditioner Coils
Dust, dirt, debris, allergens, and contaminants build up on AC coils over time. This reduces the ability of the air conditioner to effectively cool your home. This extreme buildup can block airflow, leading to additional problems including a shorter lifespan for your air conditioning unit. Buildup on the AC coils will reduce the comfort of your home and reduce its cooling efficiency. The operating temperature will be higher, resulting in increased system wear and over-stressed components. It is because of these reasons and more that you need to know how to keep our air conditioner coils clean.
Dirty air conditioner coils result in these problems:
- Reduced heat transfer
- Increased energy consumption
- Higher operating temperatures
- Increased system wear
- Ice buildup
- Decreased cooling capacity
How to Get to Air Conditioning Coils
Your AC systems coils are located inside your indoor air handling unit. They are located behind an access panel. The first thing to do is turn off your air conditioning system on your thermostat. You should also shut off the AC unit’s circuit breaker just to be sure it can’t turn on. You should place the access panel and its screws in a location where they can’t be lost.
1. Use Compressed Air
Compressed air can be used to blow dirt and debris off the coils. You should direct the compressed air in the opposite direction air flows through the AC system. You should wear eye protection and clean up the dirt and debris once it has become dislodged from the coils.
2. Use a Brush
You can remove light amounts of dirt and dust with a brush. Use the brush directly on the coils to remove debris. You can scrub the coils if you find that necessary. You should use a soft brush, as hard or wire brushes can cause damage to the coils and fins.
3. Use Detergent and Water
A mild detergent, mixed with water, can be used to clean the air conditioner coils. Follow the directions on the package. The mixture of detergent and water should be put into a spray bottle or garden sprayer. Spray the coils and then wait a few minutes for it to loosen the dirt and debris. You should wipe away loose material using a soft cloth.
4. Use Commercial Cleaners
If your air conditioner coils have gotten too dirty for detergent, you may need to use a commercial cleaner. You’ll need to mix the cleaner with water, following package directions. The cleaner will need to sit on the coils until debris comes off the coils. Some commercial cleaners have directions that you need to repeat this process until the coils are clean.
5. Heavy-Duty Cleaning
Coils with a large amount of dirt will need to be cleaned using a pressure washer or steam cleaner. This may include taking apart sections of your air conditioning system. In cases like this, it’s best to leave the cleaning to a professional. They have training, tools, and supplies to properly address the issue without causing damage.
6. Change Filters
Once your air conditioning coils are clean, you can keep them that way longer by regularly changing your AC filters. Filters keep dirt and dust from collecting on the coils and entering your living space. Filters should be inspected every 30 days and replaced as needed. They should be replaced at most every three months when you are actively using your air conditioner.
Salt Lake City Heating and Cooling Experts
S.O.S. Heating & Cooling can help you with all of your HVAC needs. We service all makes and models of air conditioners, furnaces, and heat pumps. Our services include installation, tune-ups, and repairs. We offer free estimates and second opinions so you can be sure you’re getting the best deal possible. S.O.S. Heating & Cooling is known for being honest, capable, and loyal. Please call us today to find out how we can help you!