Regardless of how much your aircon works, it is essential to maintain the unit regularly to keep the condenser and evaporator coils and the rest of the system working properly. If something goes wrong, you will more likely be able to address the problem. Besides, your knowledge will help you make wise decisions when you are ready to purchase replacement parts or upgrade the air conditioner. Let’s start learning about air conditioners by knowing how to clean an aircon coil.
What is an Evaporator Coil?
Also referred to as the evaporator core, the evaporator coil of an air conditioner is the component of the system where heat is absorbed by the refrigerant. In other words, it is the source of the cold air. The evaporator coil can be found near or inside the air handler in which the blower fan is located. It is made from aluminum, steel, or copper as these metals easily conduct heat.
What is a Condenser Coil?
The condenser coil is where the removal of heat from the refrigerant occurs. Once the refrigerant gas has been pressurized and heated within the compressor, it will then enter the condenser coil. The refrigerant cools down and becomes a liquid simultaneously. The air across the coil will begin heating up and be blown from the outdoor unit.
How to Clean an Aircon Coil?
Air conditioner coils must be checked and cleaned when necessary. If the coils are exposed to debris and dirt, it may be required to clean them monthly. Otherwise, you may have to clean them once in 3 months throughout the cooling season or once a year during your regular preventive maintenance.
Cleaning with Compressed Air
A light buildup of dirt and debris can usually be removed from the evaporator coil by blowing compressed air. Now let’s talk about how to clean aircon coils using compressed air.
- Blow compressed air directly over the coil in the direction opposite to that of normal airflow, starting from the cleaner side to the dirtier one.
- To remove stubborn substances, position the air nozzle near their bottom side.
- If high-pressure air is used, direct the nozzle either right through the fins or at a 90-degree angle.
- Maintain steady airflow all over the coil to remove accumulations without pushing them farther into the fins, making them harder to remove.
- Do not blow debris, dirt, or dust into the living spaces of your home or your ductwork system. Keep the substances from reaching your eyes by wearing eye protection like goggles. If needed, use a vacuum cleaner for collecting dislodged particles.
Cleaning with a Brush
Cleaning with a brush can be an extremely effective way to remove minor buildups of dirt from the aircon coils. It eliminates the need to use chemicals or liquids and gives you better control of the applied pressure to the fins and coils. Here’s how to clean your aircon coil using a brush:
- Brush dirt buildups away.
- Loosen stubborn materials with the brush.
- Do not use a hard-bristle or wire brush to avoid damaging the fins.
Cleaning with Commercial Cleaners
Many brands of commercial cleaners can be found in your local stores to clean aircon coils. The most common is the foaming type that drains into the drainage system of an aircon. It is best to consult with a reliable HVAC contractor in your locality for recommendations on which kind of cleaner would be most suitable for your needs. Below is the procedure on how to clean AC coils inside your house using a commercial cleaner.
- Follow directions for use and precautions on the product’s label.
- Spray the product on the coils accordingly.
- Allow it to foam and wait for the debris and foam to drain away.
- Use the cleaner again until you completely remove the dirt and accumulations.
Using Water and Household Detergents
Instead of a commercial cleaner, a solution of warm water and mild detergent can be used for cleaning aircon coils. The following are the basic steps on how to clean AC condenser/evaporator coils using this solution:
- In a spray bottle, garden sprayer, or hand sprayer, mix mild detergent and warm water.
- Apply the detergent and water solution to the coils.
- Give a few seconds or minutes for the solution to soak in then loosen any debris. Apply again when necessary.
- Use a soft brush or cloth to wipe away any loose material.
Cleaning Air Conditioner Coils with Vinegar
Cleaning your air conditioner coils using vinegar is simple. Prepare a spray bottle, water, and vinegar. Mix ½ vinegar and ½ water inside your bottle. Shake this mixture well and apply it to your condenser and evaporator coils as a homemade AC coil cleaner. It is recommended that you soak it. Let some of this solution drip away, wiping off the excess solution using a clean cloth.
Vinegar makes a very effective AC coil cleaner and does not damage the parts. The dust must go away easily. If there is still a considerable amount of debris and dust left after cleaning, you may need an all-purpose oven cleaner instead.
Heavy-Duty Aircon Coil Cleaning
Aircon coils with significant dirt accumulations may need strong chemicals and heavy-duty cleaning equipment and procedures like a steam cleaner or a pressure washer. It could also involve changes to your air conditioning system like refilling of refrigerant, restoring the vacuum within refrigerant lines, cutting and reconnecting refrigerant lines, and removal of the coil itself.
How SOServices Can Help You
If your AC coils are dirty enough to significantly affect the unit’s performance, it’s a good idea to schedule a professional servicing and cleaning appointment with us at SOServices. With the right material, equipment, and training, we can clean your coil and restore efficient aircon function without damaging any parts like fins or coils.
SOServices offers heating, air conditioning, and plumbing services in Singapore. Contact our team today and learn more about how to clean the AC coils or schedule an appointment with us. Mind you, we offer the most competitive AC coil cleaning cost in the country.