You have to wonder how earlier generations survived the hot, muggy summers here in the Broken Arrow area without an air conditioner (A/C). Most homeowners know that regularly changing their air filters is a crucial to maintaining air conditioner top efficiency; however, many don’t realize that keeping the coils clean is just as important.
Dirty coils can cause your equipment to use 37 percent more energy, and can reduce its cooling capability by as much as 30 percent. Due to increased pressure on the system, equipment failure is possible, requiring the need for an experienced HVAC technician. Additionally, dirty coils and their condensate pans can become breeding grounds for bacteria and mold, greatly reducing your indoor air quality (IAQ).
Following are various methods for cleaning your A/C coils. Remember that for best results, you should call your HVAC pro to do the job.
Compressed air. If the coils are not contaminated with adhered matter, blowing compressed air across the coil fins may suffice. A soft-bristled brush may also be used to remove light dust.
Steam cleaning. Be careful to apply steam at a low pressure, and keep the stream parallel to the fins to avoid possibly bending them.
Foaming chemicals. Using a garden-type of pump sprayer, apply a foaming chemical to the surface of the A/C coil and let it sit until it saturates the fins. Vacuum the dried foam, repeat the process, and then rinse with clean hose water.
Pressure washing. Pressure wash in the normal airflow’s opposite direction, being careful not to bend the fins. If desired, apply a cleaning solution first with a hand sprayer or the built-in chemical injection system on the pressure washer. Repeat the process until the rinse water is free of particles. This method may increase Macromolecular Organic Dust (MOD), which must be contained in the cleaning area.
Remember to turn off the system at the thermostat and to clean the condensate pan along with the A/C coils. If you have any questions, or to schedule professional maintenance on your unit, contact us here at Air Assurance. Our all NATE-certified staff will be happy to assist you.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). Image courtesy of Shutterstock