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A Step-by-Step Guide to Cleaning A/C Evaporator CoilsWhether you winterize your A/C system in the fall or perform A/C preventive maintenance in the spring, remember that cleaning your A/C evaporator coils is a vital step for generating maximum system performance and comfortable home cooling.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to cleaning A/C evaporator coils:

Accessing Evaporator Coils

Deep cleaning A/C evaporator coils should be performed no less than once a year, and ideally one or two more times during peak usage months. The evaporator coil of a split-system A/C is located inside the air handler, which is typically found in the utility closet, garage, basement or attic. There should be a removable access panel on the air handler that exposes the evaporator coil. Before removing the panel, make sure to turn off the A/C at the thermostat and circuit panel.

Cleaning A/C Evaporator Coils

Evaporator coils are generally manufactured of copper tubing and closely spaced fins. Dirt and debris can hinder airflow, which reduces cooling efficiency and increases energy consumption.

  • Use a soft brush to wipe away the debris buildup.

  • Use a soft cloth to finish wiping debris away.

  • If you have an air compressor, you may use it to blow away debris, or use a can of compressed air. 

  • There is also self-cleaning spray foams available at the local home-improvement store. Make sure the foam specifically states it is safe to use with plastic drainage components.

Heavy-Duty Cleaning

The condition of your evaporator coil and A/C depends on environmental factors, maintenance and usage. If your A/C has not been cleaned or professionally serviced in more than a few years, your coils may need heavy-duty cleaning by your HVAC pro.

Professional steam and chemical cleaning can bring renewed efficiency to A/C performance, and you'll also benefit with complete system diagnostics, troubleshooting and preventive maintenance.

At Sobieski Services, Inc., our goal is to help our customers in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey learn more about energy and home comfort issues – especially HVAC and plumbing issues – so that they can save money and live in healthier, more comfortable homes.

Photo Credit: AJC1 via Compfight cc 

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