Your HVAC system’s evaporator coils are among the most important components for cooling and dehumidifying your home. They’re tucked out of sight, but they shouldn’t be forgotten when it comes to spring maintenance.
What Evaporator Coils Do
You have two sets of coils: evaporator coils, which capture the heat inside the home, and condenser coils that release the heat outdoors. Usually made of copper, the coils are surrounded by aluminum fins that help with heat transfer. Evaporator coils are the ones found indoors, inside the air handling components of the HVAC system. Condenser coils are found in the outside unit of the air conditioner.
Evaporator coils are key to the cooling process. As refrigerant runs through them and chills them, the warm air from the home is directed over them. Not only is the temperature of the air lowered before it is distributed into the home, but the moisture that was in the air condenses on the coils and is sent out of the home by means of the condensate drain.
When the coils are dirty, they can neither cool the air properly, nor can they dehumidify the air. Dirty coils are subject to freezing up, which can ultimately damage the compressor. Additionally, you’ll be using more energy to cool your home when the coils are dirty.
Cleaning Evaporator Coils
Some savvy homeowners are competent enough to clean evaporator coils themselves, but it’s recommended that you have it done as part of your regular spring maintenance regimen by your certified HVAC technician.
After gaining access through the panels of the equipment, the technician may use compressed air applied in the opposite direction of air flow, from the cleaner to the dirtier side. The technician may also use high pressure air for more stubborn areas of dirt or debris, taking care to avoid forcing dirt into the fins. Fins can easily be damaged, so care must be taken during this cleaning process.
For minor accumulations of dirt, a soft brush can be used.
To learn more, about evaporator coil cleaning, contact Detmer and Sons of Dayton.