Regular cleaning of HVAC coils ensures the efficiency and longevity of the system and helps save money on energy bills. However, cleaning this system isn’t as simple as splashing water on the coils to remove the accumulated dirt; in fact, that can cause significant damage.
There’s a proper method that needs to be followed to clean the coils of an HVAC system. Also, you need to keep certain things in mind while cleaning HVAC filters. For beginners, cleaning coils could be an arduous task. We are aware of the challenges faced by newbies, and this step-by-step guide to clean HVAC coils is here to help you.
If you don’t want to take the risk of cleaning HVAC coils on your own, you can hire trained professionals for the same. Click here to learn of one such expert. Clover Services has many experienced technicians to assist you with the task of cleaning coils at affordable rates.
What Are HVAC Coils?
HVAC coils form an integral part of an HVAC system. In simple words, HVAC coils perform the function of heating or cooling air. Alternatively, you can say that they are responsible for the heat exchange in an HVAC system.
An HVAC system has two types of HVAC coils, namely condenser coils, and evaporator coils. An evaporator coil is present inside the indoor unit of your HVAC system. Depending on whether the furnace or AC of the HVAC system is engaged, an evaporator coil picks up the cold air or hot air and changes it to hot and cold air, respectively. This changed air is then circulated throughout the building.
On the other hand, the condenser coils work to maintain the temperature of the refrigerant or the residual air. Since the condenser coils are located in the system’s outdoor unit, they are also responsible for releasing the heat into the open air.
Therefore, the cleaning methods are different depending on the types of coils. Condenser coils are more prone to dirt and dust than evaporator coils as they are in direct contact with the outdoor air.
Why Regular Cleaning of HVAC Coils is Important?
Regular maintenance of HVAC coils is essential to ensure maximum performance and longevity, helping to avoid replacement cost. Note that this might not be a DIY job if you don’t have decent mechanical aptitude.
Let’s take a detailed look into these reasons:
Proper Functioning of the HVAC System
For the proper functioning of the HVAC system, it’s crucial that all the parts are well-maintained and regularly cleaned. Dirt accumulated on the coils will take them longer to heat or cool the air. As a result, the system will pour in double its usual efforts to run smoothly. This can ultimately lead to a collapse.
Low Energy Bills
Coils are basically insulators that help in heat exchange. If the coils are not maintained and cleaned regularly, the accumulated dirt will hinder cooling or heating the air. Consequently, the system will use more power to perform the same task, leading to high energy bills. Therefore, regular cleaning of the HVAC system will help you save on energy bills.
To Prevent Health Issues
When coils get dirty, they circulate the same contaminated air in your house or apartment. This contaminated air can cause respiratory and other health issues such as lung diseases, allergies, or cancer in some rare cases. Therefore, it’s important to maintain clean coils to prevent any health issues and complications.
Stepwise Guide on How to Clean HVAC Coils
Having learned the importance of cleaning your HVAC coils and the system as a whole, it’s time to discuss the execution part.
Step1: Turn off the Power Supply
Before cleaning the coils, it’s essential to turn off the power supply. It is extremely dangerous to clean the coils without breaking the power flow to the unit.
Step 2: Locate the Coils
After cutting the power supply, it’s time to locate the coils. An evaporator coil is present inside the indoor unit, whereas a condenser coil in the outdoor unit.
Read the user manual carefully to remove the access panel of the coils. Once you remove the panels, it’s time to run an inspection. Check how dirty the coils are. This will help you select the aptest strategy to clean them.
Step3: Use Different Methods to Clean the Coils
Depending on the condition of the coils, you can use any of the following methods to clean them:
If you see the accumulation of only dust on the coils, brush cleaning is the most appropriate method. For brush cleaning, you don’t need any cleaning solutions or detergents. You can simply use a brush to remove the dust. Make sure you use a soft-bristled cleaning brush for cleaning the coils.
Using Detergents and Water
If you see greasy stains or stubborn dirt on the coils, you can use mild detergents and water to clean them. Mix mild detergent in water and fill it in a spray bottle. Spray the solution on the coils and let it rest for some time. After that, wipe the coils with a cloth.
Using Compressed Air
You can also use compressed air to clean the coils. It is effective in case of a light build-up of dust. The compressed air blows away the accumulated dust particles, leaving your coils clean.
Step 4: Reattach the Access Coil Panels
Once you are done with the cleaning, reattach the removed access panel carefully and properly. Make sure you seal the panels using HVAC tape.
Things To Keep In Mind While Cleaning HVAC Coils
Keep in mind the following things while cleaning HVAC coils:
Wear Face Shield and Gloves
It’s necessary to wear a face shield and gloves while cleaning the coils. Otherwise, the dust particles can enter your eyes and cause irritation.
Don’t Use Excess Water
The use of excess water can damage the system. Make sure that you use a wet cloth or a spray bottle to clean the coils. Avoid throwing water on them directly.
Be Careful While Using Commercial Chemicals
Make sure you don’t clean the coils with any chemicals available in the market. Buy chemicals specifically meant for cleaning the coils and read the instructions given on them carefully before using them.
Cleaning coils isn’t as easy as it might seem. You need to keep in mind many steps for effective and safe cleaning of the HVAC coils. It’s therefore essential to follow proper guidelines before attempting to clean the coils on your own, especially if you are a beginner.
Feel free to seek professional guidance in cleaning the coils. Alternatively, you can hire trained technicians to do the task for you at reasonable rates.