Coil Cleaning: The Most Important Part of AC Maintenance

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If you’ve read our blog in the past, you know we believe that scheduling routine air conditioner maintenance is the best thing you can do to keep your AC running smoothly and efficiently year after year. And while every part of air conditioner maintenance is beneficial, the single step that makes the most impact is keeping the AC coil clean!

Why is a clean AC coil so important?

In order for your AC to run smoothly, every part needs to be clean and functioning properly. But when it comes to actually doing the cooling job, the AC coils are where the magic happens—here is where the actual transfer of heat takes place. Any buildup, from dirt, grease, dust, or even bacteria and microorganisms, can create an insulating barrier that makes it harder for the coils to do their job. This leads to all sorts of problems, from decreased efficiency and increased operating costs to a dramatically reduced lifespan.

So how often do you need to clean your AC coil? Is once a year enough? Is once a season too much? It all depends on the environment the coil is in. For most people, once a year is plenty—the only times you’ll see AC coils needing to be cleaned more often are in greasy, hot, dirty environments. If you’re unsure, a technician from Michael Bonsby HVAC & Plumbing will be able to help you.

Cleaning Condenser vs. Evaporator Coils

Since condenser coils are located outside and evaporator coils are located inside, it makes sense that they would have different cleaning requirements. But what are these, exactly?

Being outside, condenser coils are constantly subjected to the elements—extreme heat and cold, direct sunlight, dust, dirt, leaves, bugs, small animals, you name it! Damage due to bumps by the weed whacker and lawn mower don’t help either, which is why even if you have annual professional AC maintenance, you should rinse your condenser coil off with the hose every few weeks during the summer to make extra sure it stays clean all summer long.

Since they are located inside, it would make sense if you thought evaporator coils weren’t at the same risk of getting dirty as their outdoor counterparts. This is true to an extent, but it mostly means that evaporator coils have their own hazards to deal with! All of the air in your home passes over the evaporator coil, meaning every bit of dust, debris, bacteria, etc. also passes over it. And while your air filter generally does a good job of pulling these particles out of the air, you could still end up with a substantial buildup over time. Worse, evaporator coils are usually damp from condensate and located in a cool, dark place—the perfect environment for mold and other microorganisms to thrive.  Some of these microorganisms can make you sick (or worse) so it’s crucial that you keep them in check! Keeping your evaporator coils clean not only keeps your AC running smoothly, but it also goes a long way into maintaining a healthy indoor environment in your home.

Keeping your AC coils clean is the most important thing you can do for your AC, so if you need air conditioner maintenance in Maryland, Virginia, or Washington, DC, call Michael Bonsby HVAC & Plumbing today!

AC maintenance is even easier with an HVAC service contract!

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