2 Key Coil-Related Maintenance Steps For Your HVAC System

Posted on: 6 December 2016

A central air conditioner has two sets of coils: condenser coils in the condensing unit and evaporator coils in the air handler. The first set of coils changes gas refrigerant into a liquid while the second changes the liquid back into a gas. These phase changes push the fuel through the system and create the cooling source that makes your home livable during the summer heats.

Proper air conditioning maintenance should involve both sets of coils. Taking care of the coils and related parts can ensure your system runs smoothly and efficiently throughout the season. Here are a couple key coil-related maintenance steps for your HVAC system.

Clean Condenser Coils

The condenser coils reside in the grated condensing unit outside your home. The grating allows air to circulate through the system but that air can also carry dust and debris that can stick to the surface of the condensing coils. Accumulating surface dirt can cause the coils to lose phase change ability and will slowly lower the overall efficiency of your unit.

You can clean the condenser coils using a garden hose with a nozzle set to medium pressure so as not to dent the coils. Spray the hose from the inside of the condensing unit, after you have turned off the power to the unit and removed the grated cover, and try to keep as little water from falling down into the unit as possible. If the coils still look dirty after the rinse, use a steel scrub brush and gentle pressure to remove the rest of the dirt.

Clean Evaporator Coils

Evaporator coils become cold during the phase change process and that coldness comes with condensate production that makes the moist coils easy to dirty. The dirty evaporator coils, as with the condenser coils, will start to have trouble performing the phase change and your system will both lose efficiency and its source of cooling.

You can clean evaporator coils simply using a foaming cleanser found on the shelf at the hardware store. The coil cleaner will come in a no-rinse formula that is easy to use. You don't need to rinse because the excess cleaner will drip down into the condensate collecting drain pan at the bottom of the air handler.

Use the coil cleaner according to package directions, after you have turned off the power to the unit and gained access to the coils. After the cleaner has set for the appropriate amount of time, you can fire up the system on fan mode so that the remaining cleaner stuck to the coils will evaporate away.

For tips, contact a company like Nathan's Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc.