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Reasons to Get Professional Evaporator Coil Cleaning
Any air conditioner relies on a few key components like the evaporator coil, the condenser coil, the compressor, and the fans. The evaporator coil, located inside the indoor air handler unit, captures heat energy from the indoor air. A chemical refrigerant inside the coil is then pumped to the condenser coil in the outdoor unit, where the heat disperses into the outdoor air. The compressor pumps the refrigerant between the two coils.
Over time, dust and debris can accumulate on the evaporator coils, getting stuck to the condensation that forms on the coils as they absorb heat. This will interfere with the AC system’s ability to cool the home. So, by keeping the evaporator coils clean, homeowners will help ensure that their air conditioner works more effectively and efficiently and even help prolong the unit’s life. So read on to discover three common signs that it’s time to clean the AC evaporator coils.
The AC Isn’t Cooling Properly
hotThe first sign of a dirty evaporator coil is if the home doesn’t seem to be getting cool enough. This loss of cooling power can occur if a layer of dirt and dust on the evaporator coil prevents the coil from fully absorbing heat from the air. So, as the blower fan pushes warm indoor air across the coil array, the air won’t get as cool as it usually would. This is why homeowners may notice warm air coming from the vents or a loss of cooling when the coils are dirty.
Of course, regularly replacing the air filters can help prevent dust and debris from getting into the system and onto the AC coils in the first place. However, some may still accumulate, which is why regular evaporator coil cleanings are essential to the correct function of air conditioning.
Frost or Ice on the Coils
frostIn some cases, dirt on the AC evaporator coils can lead to ice or frost formation. This is because the refrigerant running through the coils is very cold, which allows the heat transfer process to occur. But when the refrigerant can’t absorb heat, it doesn’t warm up as it usually would, causing the condensation on the coils to freeze.
This can create a snowball effect, where moisture from the air will condense on the icy coils and freeze, forming a thicker and thicker layer of ice on the coils. Not only will a frozen evaporator coil be unable to absorb heat from the air correctly, but the ice can also restrict airflow, resulting in a malfunctioning air conditioner. 
The AC Unit Runs Longer Than Normal
When the AC coils are dirty, the air conditioner will likely run for longer cycles since bringing the air down to the desired temperature on the thermostat will take longer. These longer cycles will mean more energy consumption and wear and tear on the unit, so if homeowners notice that their AC runs for long periods before shutting off, they should call an HVAC professional to inspect the system.
In general, evaporator coil cleaning should be done during an annual air conditioner maintenance visit, but it may be needed if these signs are present. But homeowners should leave coil cleaning to the professionals, as it is a delicate process that requires special tools, and doing it wrong can damage the coils and the thin metal heat transfer fins surrounding them. But by enlisting the help of an HVAC contractor to keep the AC coils clean, homeowners can enjoy a more energy-efficient air conditioner that performs better and lasts longer!

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