Why Keep Your HVAC Coils Squeaky Clean

Keeping your heating and cooling system clean is important for many reasons. Not only does it keep dust and bacteria from entering your air, it extends the lifespan of your system and makes your home comfort more efficient. Each component within your system functions differently when soiled, resulting in poor comfort and excess wear and tear on your equipment.

Below, we take a look at coils specifically and why dirty HVAC coils can be such a big problem for homeowners. Plus, get tips on when it’s time to contact the professionals.

Outdoor Ductless Condensers

What Are HVAC Coils?

Your HVAC system has two sets of coils, which is where heat exchange occurs to either warm or cool your home. There is one set of coils outdoors, which acts as the system’s condenser, and one set of coils indoors, which acts as an evaporator.

However, the location, size, and mechanics of these coils can be very different from system to system, so it’s crucial to work with licensed HVAC technicians who have experience working with multiple equipment models.

Here’s a look at the two types of coils and what they do:

Understanding How Your Condenser Coils Work

The condenser coils are responsible for controlling the temperature of the refrigerant. As refrigerant travels through the condenser coils, it heats up or cools down before circulating back to the evaporator coils. Since condenser coils are in your outdoor equipment, the heat energy they collect from your home can be released into the air.

When the condenser coils have adequate airflow, they can quickly and efficiently conduct heat transfer to reduce the temperature inside your home.

Understanding How Your Evaporator Coils Work

Your evaporator coils are located inside your house, usually somewhere near your ductwork. When your air conditioner is on, the evaporator coils extract heat from inside your home where it can be transferred outdoors by the condenser coils. When your system is in heating mode, the evaporator coils simply allow heat to pass through to your ducts and into your home.

The Problem with Dirty HVAC Coils

Dirt and dust buildup threaten the function of your coils and causes additional wear and tear on your HVAC system. It also makes it harder for your air conditioner to extract humidity, leaving your home hot and sticky even with your cooling on. When your condenser limits how much air can flow through your system, your cooling capacity goes down while your energy consumption goes up.

Symptoms of dirty HVAC coils include things like:

  • Your air conditioner is on but your house isn’t getting cool enough
  • Your energy bills are going up even though you don’t think you’ve used your system more often than usual
  • Your system is short cycling, meaning that it’s turning on and off more often than usual

How to Clean Your HVAC Coils 

How often your coils should be cleaned depends largely on how you use your system, the quality of your air filter and how often you change it, if you have pets, and other factors that contribute to the buildup of dust and debris on your HVAC coils.

Cleaning your own coils can be challenging if you aren’t experienced and damaging them can cause real problems with your system. It’s best to have your coils regularly cleaned by a qualified heating and cooling provider during scheduled preventative maintenance.

 A technician has several tools available to safely break down and remove dirt that has accumulated on your coils. First, compressed air is typically used to dislodge loose particles before special cleaners are applied that break down oils to get underneath the grime.

Because the coil fins are made out of thin metal and are ultra-delicate, it’s important not to bend or crush them during the cleaning process. Brushes typically aren’t used to clean coils due to the risk of bending, even when scrubbing lightly. Instead, technicians will use a low-pressure sprayer to rinse off the coils after the cleaning solution has had plenty of time to sit and break down any gunk.

When to Call a Professional HVAC Contractor at N.E.T.R., Inc.

N.E.T.R., Inc. knows what it takes to keep your HVAC system in peak condition and our Mitsubishi Electric Diamond Elite contractors have the skills to get the job done right.

Contact us today at (781) 757-5734 to schedule a home assessment and one of our technicians will come to you for an accurate estimate of what the maintenance or repairs you need will cost.