Air Quality

How To Clean Evaporator Coils on Central Air Conditioner?


For summer comfort, the central air conditioning system is essential. Unfortunately, the evaporator coil, critical for temperature exchange in the system, becomes clogged quickly. As a result, efficiency suffers. Dirty evaporative coils may also damage the compressor and different parts of the air conditioner. Knowing this, you may be wondering how to clean the central air conditioning unit’s evaporator coil. This post responds to your inquiry by combining professional industry knowledge with recent research.

Cleaning evaporative coils

How to clean evaporator coil without removing?

The steps below include two methods for cleaning the evaporator coil. Basic manual skills are required for this technique, especially when disassembling and reassembling the system.

If you are concerned about completing any of these tasks or cannot locate the evaporator coil, it is best to consult an HVAC professional. To ensure efficient heating and cooling, you can fully maintain your system.

1. Turn off the system

First and foremost, you must turn off your computer for your safety. This may seem self-evident, but even seasoned workers can overlook this step.

A switch on the indoor AC unit may allow you to turn it off. However, a breaker box is expected to be the only way to turn it off.

Try turning on the device to see if it works. The system may be turned off if nothing unusual occurs.

2. Find the evaporator coil

The evaporator coil is the final internal component of the mechanical system of an air conditioner. This means air is routed through the filter and fan before arriving at the evaporator coil. Taking off the main indoor AC cover is as simple as exposing the coil.

The coil comprises a coolant and a copper tube that houses the temperature distribution fins. These fins are excellent and resemble a car radiator. The entire unit is V-shaped, with the apex pointing in the airflow direction. It can be up, down, or sideways depending on your system.

An inner cover may match the indoor unit’s main cover and V profile. If you remove any other components, such as obstructive covers or vents, keep the screws and fasteners in a safe place for future use.

3. Determine if the coil needs cleaning

Inspect the inside of the coil next. The air inside the “V” first meets the evaporator coil, which collects dirt and debris.

Cleaning the coil is recommended if there is a lot of dirt or hair. You can put off cleaning until another day if you don’t see any dirt.

4. Insert Collection Tray

A collection tray is a piece of paperboard, paper, or other material that collects dirt and debris that falls off the coil when cleaned. Without the collection pan, debris will fall into the system and require more frequent cleaning.

To make a collection tray, measure the inside dimensions of the bottom of the V and trim and fit the tray with scissors. Even if the V is facing sideways, we recommend this procedure. However, you do not need to make the tray if V is facing down.

Alternatively, a vacuum hose can gently suck up dirt and debris falling inside the coil.

5. Clean the Coils

Let’s get cleaning the evaporator coil assembly started. You can begin by using a stiff brush or compressed air. After that, a cleaner is recommended.

Stiff Brush

Brushes with stiff bristles are excellent for removing all dirt and debris from coil fins. Do not rub so hard that the fins bend. Please, however, remove the debris.

When everything is in the collection tray, the significance of that tray is highlighted.

Compressed Air

Instead of or in addition to the brush, compressed air can be used to clean the fins. The flow of air through the fins is redirected in the opposite direction. After that, the debris will be blown in all directions. Connect compressed air to the vacuum cleaner for on-the-go cleaning to avoid confusion.

Make Use of a Cleaner

Many over-the-counter cleaners are explicitly marketed for evaporator coil cleaning. The best option is to buy one of these specially designed products.

These aren’t usually scrubbed and break down dirt when they come into contact with it. Following the instructions on the spray, completely immerse the inside of the evaporator coil. Clean the coil with a spray bottle of clean water once the product is in it.

6. Reassemble and reboot the system

The system can be reassembled after thoroughly cleaning and rinsing the coils. Don’t forget to remove the drip tray. It’s as easy as reinstalling all the covers and other components in the same order as they were removed.

When you’re done, please reboot your computer and test it to ensure it’s working correctly.

If this doesn’t solve the HVAC issues, replace the evaporative coils immediately.

What are the signs that your evaporator coil is dirty?

Reduced system efficiency is the first sign of evaporator coil dirt. This means the air conditioner blows warm air, turns on more frequently, doesn’t cool the house, and may not turn on. System noise, coil frost, no water coming out of the drain pipe, refrigerant leaks, and water build-up are indicators.

It’s a good idea to inspect the coil for any of the above symptoms to ensure it’s clean. If dirt isn’t an issue, it’s time to contact an HVAC professional.

How do you clean the evaporator coil without removing it?

The procedure outlined above explains how to clean the evaporator coil without having to remove it. Unless you are replacing the evaporator coil or the HVAC technician needs to make certain repairs, you do not need to remove the evaporator coil.

Clean your AC evaporative coils at least once a season!

We discussed how to clean the AC evaporator coil in this post. It includes several different cleaning strategies and a complete step-by-step guide to this process.

Disclosure: We may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

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