Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Basic Steps to Clean Air Conditioner Coils

Air conditioner coil is an integral part of the cooling system. This coil performs a very significant function that of exchanging heat from inside air to outside air. Basically, there are two types of coils used in an air conditioning system. The condenser coil, made of aluminum, covers the air conditioner compressor from outside, whereas the evaporator coil is attached at the main duct junction, inside the air conditioner itself. Thus, it is the evaporator coil whose efficient functioning matters the most.

Maintenance of air conditioner coils should be done carefully. To simplify the cleaning process of condenser coil, you need basic equipment like soft brush, grass shears, fin comb, coil cleaner, carpenter’s level and pry bar. On the other hand, for evaporator coils, keep these equipment handy like a stiff brush, screwdriver, household bleach and a large hand mirror.

Cleaning the Evaporator Coil
  • Start by removing the access plate which is situated behind the foil wrapped insulation. Use a screwdriver for the purpose.
  • Clean evaporator coils with the stiff brush. You can use the large hand mirror to see how much dust has gathered on evaporator coils.
  • Make sure to clean the tray placed below evaporator unit. Use the stiff brush for the purpose.
  • If you find it difficult to clean every part of the coil, then pull out the unit a bit to clean it properly.
  • Spread some household bleach into the tray weep holes. This prevents growth of fungus and mold.
  • Finally refit all parts of the entire unit into their appropriate places.

The good thing about evaporator coils is that these are not in direct contact with outside dirt. So, you need not follow a regular cleaning regime for evaporator coils. In case of condenser coil, the story is a bit different. Since these are placed externally i.e. in the outer portion of the air conditioner, you need to be more careful about condenser coil cleaning. Follow these steps.
  • First remove weeds, grasses or creepers that might have grown around the condenser unit.
  • Use a coil cleaner to clean condenser coils. You can opt for commercial coil cleaners which are readily available in the market.
  • Use a soft brush to clean the fins and remove accumulated dirt. A special tool called fin comb is available with which you can make the fins straight.
  • Check out whether the level of condenser unit is horizontal or not. Apply carpenter’s level to check the height of concrete pad on which the condenser is placed. Bring the condenser to horizontal level by using a shim and pry bar.
  • Now that you are done with the cleaning make sure that, all components of the condenser unit that you have taken out for cleaning are now refitted in their appropriate positions.

The above mentioned steps give a generic picture of how to clean air conditioner coils. For customized services and expert guidance, it is always advised that you get in touch with an HVAC expert.

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