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AC Evaporator Coil Cleaning Tips for Homeowners

Although all of us are thankful for our AC units, it tends to be something that we take for granted – that is until it starts leaking, making funny noises or breaks down. Then suddenly, all we can think about is what we need to do in order to get the unit back in good working condition again.

If you were to ask a professional AC technician about one of the best things that you can do to prolong the life of your HVAC unit, something they would probably recommend you do is a bit of routine maintenance. That would include cleaning your evaporator coils. If you’re not sure what evaporator coils are, basically they’re the coils that are responsible for helping to cool the air that goes throughout your system.

Although dust and small particles of debris can get inside of them and obstruct your unit’s air flow, your coils are relatively easily to clean. If you’d like some tips on how to do just that, here are five of them:

Cut off your AC’s power. Anything that has an electrical current running through it, you need to disconnect it from its power source first. When it comes to your AC unit, you can do this by turning off the power to the condenser unit. In most cases, you can do this by either pulling out a block at the outdoor shut off or flipping the switch inside of it to “off”.

Open up the outer part of the unit. Once the power is off, in order to get to the coils, the next thing that you need to do is unscrew the outer housing part of the unit. This will help to give you full view of the coils so that you can clean them thoroughly.

Use a soft brush to remove the debris. In order to remove the top layer of dirt and debris on the coils, you will need to use a soft brush. If you want to be able to thoroughly clean off your coil fins, you might want to also apply a can of spray air (you can buy some at your local drug store or Walmart). That way, you can access some of the hard to reach places.

Wash the caked-on coils. The importance of clean ducts are so relevant to the productivity of your unit. For this reason, if after applying the brush to your coils, you notice that some caked-on dirt is still present, don’t ignore it. You should wash the coils off with a cloth rag and either some detergent and water or an industrial foam cleanser (that you can buy at your local home improvement store). DO keep in mind that while detergent has a lot less toxins, the benefit of the foam cleanser is that it works a lot quicker.

Close the unit back up and turn on the power. Once your coils are clean, all you have to do is close the unit back up and then turn the power back on. Once your unit is running, you will notice that cleaning the coils will have your unit working much better in just a matter of moments. It’s an hour of (cleaning) time that can make a world of difference for your HVAC unit.

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