Having a well-functioning AC unit is essential, especially during the sweltering summer months. However, just like any other household appliance, your AC needs regular maintenance. One of the most overlooked aspects of AC maintenance is cleaning the evaporator coil. In this article, we’ll guide you through how to clean AC evaporator coils inside your house without the hassle.
What are Evaporator Coils?
Before diving into the cleaning process, it’s crucial to understand what evaporator coils are. Central air coils, commonly referred to as evaporator coils, are located inside your AC unit. These indoor AC coils are responsible for extracting heat from the air inside your home, thus cooling the interior.
AC Evaporator Coil Location
To ensure you’re on the right track, first, locate the evaporator coil. For most setups, the AC evaporator coil is located within the air handler or furnace. If you’re wondering how to clean AC coils inside the furnace, worry not – the process is relatively similar across different units.
Cleaning Evaporator Coil Without Removing
You might think that cleaning the coils is a tedious task, but the good news is, you can clean them without removing them. Here’s how:
- Turn Off the Power: Safety first! Before you begin, ensure the AC unit and the furnace are turned off.
- Access the Coils: Remove the access panel to reach the coils. This might require a screwdriver or other tools, depending on your unit’s design.
- Inspect the Coils: Before cleaning, inspect the coils to gauge the level of dirt and debris.
Clean Evaporator Coil with Vinegar
One of the most effective and budget-friendly methods to clean your coils is by using vinegar:
- Prepare the Solution: Mix equal parts of water and white vinegar.
- Spray or Pour: Spray the solution onto the evaporator coils or, for harder-to-reach places, pour the solution slowly to ensure it reaches all areas.
- Wait: Allow the vinegar solution to sit for a few hours. The acidity in the vinegar will help break down the grime.
- Rinse: After allowing the vinegar solution to sit, gently rinse the coils with warm water.
Homemade AC Coil Cleaner
While vinegar is effective, there might be instances when you need something a bit stronger. Here’s a simple homemade AC coil cleaner:
- Mix a cup of water, a cup of rubbing alcohol, and a tablespoon of dish soap.
- Spray this mixture onto the coils and let it sit for a few minutes.
- Rinse with warm water.
Maintaining Your AC Unit Inside House
While cleaning the evaporator coils is essential, it’s equally important to maintain the entire unit. To ensure longevity:
- Regularly Clean or Replace Filters: Dirty filters obstruct airflow, causing the unit to work harder.
- Inspect Ducts and Vents: Regularly check for obstructions or debris, ensuring efficient air circulation.
- Schedule Professional Maintenance: While DIY cleaning is effective, a professional can spot potential issues and ensure your AC runs optimally.
Knowing how to clean the AC evaporator coils inside your house is an essential aspect of maintaining a comfortable and efficient home environment. With regular cleaning and proper care, your AC unit will serve you well for years to come.
Q: How often should I clean my AC evaporator coils?
A: Ideally, you should inspect and clean your evaporator coils once a year. However, if your home is located in a dusty environment or you use your AC extensively, you might need to do it more frequently.
Q: Can I use commercial AC coil cleaners instead of homemade solutions?
A: Yes, commercial AC coil cleaners are specifically designed to clean evaporator coils and are quite effective. However, always read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using any commercial product. Homemade solutions like vinegar or the rubbing alcohol mixture can be just as effective for light to moderate cleaning and are natural alternatives.
Q: Is there a risk of damaging the coils while cleaning?
A: Yes, if you’re not careful. Evaporator coils are delicate, so always avoid using abrasive brushes or excessive force. Stick to soft brushes or cloths and gentle cleansers to avoid causing any damage.
Q: What are the signs that my evaporator coils need cleaning?
A: Some signs include: reduced cooling efficiency, an unusual hike in your electricity bills without any obvious reason, ice formation on the coils, and your AC unit working harder than usual to maintain desired temperatures.
Q: Can dirty evaporator coils affect my health?
A: Absolutely. Dirty coils can lead to mold growth, which can spread through your home’s ventilation system. Mold spores can aggravate allergies, respiratory problems, and other health issues. Regular cleaning ensures you’re breathing cleaner, healthier air.