Is It Time to Clean Your AC Coils?

September 1, 2020

AC maintenance keeps HVAC systems efficient and reliable. We are stuck inside for longer periods right now, and that makes regular AC maintenance in Tampa, FL much more essential. Generally, an HVAC contractor should visit for a maintenance appointment twice a year, although for some systems, once a year may be sufficient. No matter the frequency of maintenance, you need to make cleaning your AC coils a priority if you want your system to run well. This overview explains why.

AC efficiency

The primary reason to stay current on AC maintenance and cleaning the AC coils is energy efficiency. When you fail to keep the coils and evaporator clean, your energy usage increases by 30 percent. That shows up in your utility bills, but also creates wear and tear on your AC unit.

To work efficiently, AC units must be able to transfer heat from inside to outside. Dirt, dust and other debris on coils interferes with this. The buildup prevents coils from taking in the surrounding air and sending the warm air outside. When you keep the coils clean, this process occurs easier and without placing further demands on your AC unit.

Besides reducing efficiency, dirty coils also reduce cooling performance, freeze coils and overheat the compressor. Any of these issues can end with a large repair bill or even require that you replace your entire unit.

Coil cleaning process

AC coils are delicate and if you decide to go in there and scrub them out yourself, you may be in for a bad surprise. The smallest force can bend them, and that also leads to problems.

Your best course of action for thorough cleaning is to leave this job to an AC contractor. They will clean the coils during your routine maintenance appointments, and will do so in a way that does not compromise them. Between visits, you can clean the coils using gentler means, including removing large debris as you see it and rinsing the coils with a hose. Shut down the unit before you expose the coils to water.

For the evaporator, leave that entirely to professionals. It is difficult to access, and your efforts may void your warranty or cause worse damage.

Once cleaned, take preventative steps to keep coils as clean as possible. Check the filter once a month and replace it when necessary. Otherwise, besides dirty coils, you also allow dust and dirt to build up on the evaporator rather than the coils. Eventually, that impedes functioning, and you risk your AC system breaking down.

Also, keep the air around your unit clear. Pick up trash that appears next to it, remove large debris and trim trees, grass, bushes and any other plant life that starts hanging out around your AC unit. You want a two-foot perimeter around your unit to keep debris out of it as much as possible.

Kenny’s Air Conditioning & Heating Services, Inc. offers AC maintenance in Tampa, FL.  We are available whether your unit merely requires maintenance and coil cleaning or you’ve noticed something wrong that needs our immediate attention. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

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Kenny's Air Conditioning & Heating Services, Inc.