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Signs Of Dirty AC Coils and How to Clean Dirty AC Coils

Air conditioners are a necessary part of today’s lifestyle and can be found part of all HVAC systems in nearly all homes. Performing routine AC and HVAC repair and maintenance is just as crucial as maintaining any other critical part of your home. Nevertheless, most homeowners only pay attention to their air conditioning system when something goes wrong. Since most homeowners are unaware of the signs of dirty AC coils, their carelessness shortens the unit’s lifespan and decreases its functionality.

In essence, your HVAC system’s dirty AC coils can cause issues such as decreased cooling effectiveness, higher energy usage, and possible equipment damage. It may even impact your home’s air quality and, in turn, your health. Therefore, routine AC repair and maintenance is not only a best practice, but also necessary.

The following are signs of dirty AC coils, how to regularly clean them using DIY methods and when to call AC repair professionals:

  1. Reduced Cooling Performance

One of the most apparent signs of a dirty AC coil is decreased cooling performance. It may indicate that your evaporator coil needs cleaning if the AC is not cooling your house as efficiently as it once did or if warm air is coming from the vents.

The surface area for heat transfer is decreased when dirt collects on the evaporator coils of your air conditioner. Then, the accumulated particles and soil create a barrier that makes it more difficult for the waves to absorb heat from the interior air efficiently.

The quantity of air that comes into contact with the coil can be decreased as dirt and debris build up on their surface and block the air passage. As a result, the evaporator coils will receive less airflow, reducing cooling efficiency and room air circulation.

This lowers the AC system’s cooling capacity. It makes it more difficult for your unit to regulate the air to the appropriate temperature, which lowers cooling efficiency and raises monthly electricity costs.

  1. Frequent System Cycling

Frequent system cycling is another sign of a dirty AC coil. Suppose you notice that the air conditioning is shutting off and on more often than usual; it might be because a dirty coil reduces its cooling effectiveness. As a result, the system might find it challenging to reach the appropriate temperature, which would cause it to cycle frequently to compensate for the decreased heat transfer.

Additionally, there may be an increase in the temperature and pressure differentials across the evaporator coils when they are dirty. As a result of its difficulties in maintaining the correct pressure and temperature settings for effective operation, the system may cycle more frequently. Due to frequent cycling, your air conditioning system’s compressor and other parts may become overworked and eventually fail.

  1. Ice Buildup Around the Coil

Ice buildup on the evaporator coil can also be attributed to dirtiness and is one of the significant signs of a dirty AC coil. The amount of heat absorbed by the air can be decreased by contaminants on the coils obstructing airflow in the coil surface. As a result, the evaporator coils’ temperature could fall below freezing, allowing airborne moisture to solidify into ice on the coil’s surface.

This ice accumulation can further obstruct airflow and lower the AC system’s cooling ability. Ice on the evaporator coil may cause damage to the ring and further decrease the system’s cooling effectiveness.

  1. Unpleasant Smells

Unpleasant smells from your air conditioning system indicate a dirty AC coil. On the coils, moisture can build up, creating the ideal conditions for the growth of mold and mildew. This means not only a smelly environment inside the home, but more importantly, presence of mold and contaminants inside the home that may lead to airborne diseases, worsening of breathing issues for inhabitants and more.

In an area like South Florida with its unpredictable weather, it is best to work with a local AC and HVAC repair company since it understands common weather-related AC and HVAC issues as well as their solutions. This eliminates guesswork and ensures fast and long-lasting solution to your AC issues. For example, let’s say you live in Vero Beach or Stuart, it is advisable to call professionals who are experts in Jupiter AC repair or air conditioning repair Stuart FL since they will be the most knowledgeable in local weather-related AC issues and their fixes.

If you have signs of dirty AC coils, contact the professionals at Miranda Home Services in Florida. Do not try to fix using DIY methods.

How to Clean the Dirty AC Coils?

Now that we know the signs of dirty AC coils, let’s discuss how to clean dirty AC coils and restore the health of your AC and HVAC system.

Did you know that cleaning dirty AC coils does not take too much time for most professional service people? It’s worth the call to have a properly functioning AC unit. The following instructions will walk you through cleaning your machine’s AC coils to extend its lifespan and increase efficiency.

  1. Find Your Unit’s AC Coils.

To access dirty AC coils, you must remove the end of the unit that extends from the house. In central air conditioning units, the coils are usually hidden behind a detachable panel that must be unscrewed to allow access.

If you need clarification, consult your operator’s manual; the specs illustration will show you where the coils are located and how to remove the cover.

  1. Examine The Unclean Condenser Coils.

Another sign of dirty AC coils can be clods of dirt, spider webs, or leaves. After removing these by hand, use a coil brush to dust off the coils. This specialized cleaning tool, also known as a dirt brush, can be found at most big box hardware and AC installation shops and has bristles that are stiffer approximately halfway within a hand broom and a wire brush.

To prevent bending the coils’ fins, move the brush gently in parallel with the fins of the coil. 

  1. Use A Fin Brush To Straighten Bent Fins.

Light is reflected by bent fins, frequently giving the coils’ outlines a brilliant sheen. If so, you could straighten them by slowly moving a fin brush parallel to the fins’ line. Increasing the coils’ exposed surface area will enhance the efficiency of your air conditioning unit.

You can skip this step to avoid investing in specialized equipment like a fin brush. Beyond cleaning the coils, which will significantly boost your machine’s efficiency, bent fin correction goes above and beyond.

  1. Use Water To Rinse The AC Coils.

Since copper and aluminum are used to make AC coils, water can be used to clean them. Any outdoor central air conditioning unit can use a low-pressure water spray to clean the coils.

Key Takeaways

In summary, to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of the AC, it is critical to recognize the signs of dirty AC coils. Once you understand why the air conditioner isn’t working well, it will be easier to find a solution. Dirty AC coils are a common issue that reduces the air conditioner’s efficiency and are also easy to clean by calling a professional.

If you’re living in South Florida and facing air conditioning issues of any kind, contact Miranda Home Services today. We’ve been in business for over 40 years and provide most of our work with warranties. We’re a highly rated, highly trusted bunch of professionals focused on delivering the best service to our customers. Get in touch today.

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