All machines work more efficiently when they are clean. Your air conditioner is no different.
One of the more common causes of a malfunctioning air conditioning system is excessive dirt on the evaporator coil and the condenser coil.
What are the Evaporator Coil and the Condenser Coil?
To understand why it’s so important to keep the coils clean we first need an understanding of what an air conditioner actually does. An air conditioning unit works by removing the heat from the air inside your home and returning the cooled air.
Your air conditioner captures the heat in your home using an evaporator coil. Both the evaporator coil and the condenser coil are made up of a series of copper tubing. Circulating through the tubing is a chemical refrigerant.
The warm air inside your house reaches the evaporator coil through the air return located somewhere in your home. Next, the refrigerant in the evaporator coil absorbs the heat from the air, leaving the air in a cooled state. That cool air is then sent back into your home through the vents.
But what happens to the heat? The heat trapped by the evaporator coil is then sent to the condenser coil which releases it to the outdoors.
It’s obvious that the evaporator coil and the condenser coil are essential components of your air conditioning unit. But why is it important to keep them clean?
How Dirt Affects the Evaporator Coil and the Condenser Coil
Because both the evaporator coil and the condenser coil are exposed to air, it’s inevitable that both will attract dirt. Dirt, however, acts as an insulator on the coils.
When dirt blankets the evaporator coil, the coil can’t easily pull the heat from the air inside your home. Your air conditioner may keep running, but your home won’t seem to get any cooler.
It’s only a matter of time before the evaporator coil gets dirty. Pollutants circulating in the air inside your house will eventually find their way it. Dust and pet dander are two of the culprits that can make your air conditioner work overtime. Mold is also a common problem with evaporator coils.
Meanwhile, the condenser coil is exposed to the air outside. Therefore it can become covered with dirt and yard debris. A dirty condenser coil can’t efficiently dispose of the heat pulled from your home. The unit will soon fail if it can’t get rid of that heat.
What to Do About a Dirty Evaporator Coil and a Condenser Coil
Preventive maintenance is always the best first step.
You can help keep the evaporator coil clean by changing your system’s air filter regularly. The more dirt you catch with the inexpensive air filter, the less dirt will reach the expensive evaporator coil.
You can help keep the condenser coil clean by clearing any grass, weeds, or bushes growing close to the outdoor unit. Many homeowners grow shrubbery or flowers to block the view of their HVAC unit. That’s understandable. However, you don’t want anything growing extremely close to the unit. Leave plenty of clearance.
But what can you do once your evaporator coil and condenser coil become dirty? It’s usually safer to call an experienced technician. He knows how to clean the coils without damaging them or any other components. If mold is a problem, he’ll also know the correct procedure for safely removing it.
When was the last time your evaporator coil and condenser coil were cleaned? Don’t wait until hot weather comes your way. Schedule an appointment today by contacting HVAC Philly.