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How to Clean Your AC Cooling Coils

clean-ac-coilsAs spring progresses and the weather warms, it’s time to start thinking about our air conditioners. This means ensuring that yours is properly maintained and cared for in order to be ready for its heaviest period of use in a couple short months.

Whether or not you’ve already had Midwest City, OK air conditioning maintenance done on your system, it’s important that you keep an eye and ear out for any potential signs that your air conditioner has stopped functioning as it should, so that you can have repairs done quickly and reduce the risk of a premature AC system breakdown.

One of the most common problems that AC systems face is the buildup of dust, dirt, and grime on the indoor coil (the evaporator coil) and/or the outdoor coil (the condenser coil).

What’s Wrong with a Dirty Condenser Coil?

The type of dirt buildup mentioned above serves as a type of insulator, and blocks the airflow that these coils need to do their job effectively. Dirt buildup prevents the coils from efficiently releasing or absorbing heat. This heat transfer is essential to the process of keeping your home cool.

Evaporator coils draw heat out of the air inside a living space in order to cool it down, while condenser coils release that absorbed heat to the outdoors. When either of these coils accumulates too much dirt, it cuts down on the total energy efficiency of the system—something you’ll notice with increased energy bills.

This problem will also impact other AC components, such as fan motors and the compressor. If these system components get too hot while attempting to compensate for dirty coils, then the copper windings inside them will melt, and break, requiring component replacements.

So, How Do I Clean Them?

It’s first important to prevent this dirt buildup from occurring to begin with, by changing your air filter every 1-3 months, and by keeping mulch and plants clear of the outdoor unit. If, however, the dirt on the coils is minor, you can use low pressure compressed air to blow across the fins, or use a soft bristle brush to blow off the loose dust and dirt, and then follow that up with plain water or a mild detergent solution. Allow it to sit for a short while, then rinse.

More aggressive deposits require steam cleaning and/or pressure washing, and we highly recommend leaving this to the professionals. Attempting to handle this on your own can lead to AC system damage, plus you could unintentionally cause injury to yourself. Pressure cleaning should always be done in the opposite direction of air flow through the coil, and special care must be taken to prevent damaging the fins on the tubes.

The Best Way to Keep Your Coils Clean

Schedule routine maintenance. In addition to cleaning your coils during this appointment, our professionals will thoroughly inspect and clean the rest of your system, ensuring that any parts that need adjusting are handled, and that you are aware of any repair needs. Tackling repair needs right away reduces the risk that you’ll run into a larger—and costlier—emergency later on.

At Comfort Incorporated, we keep your family safe, healthy and comfortable—contact us today for same day service!

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