How to Know Your AC Coil Needs Cleaning?

Learn the signs indicating your AC coil cleaning time. Discover why cleaning both condenser and evaporator coils for optimal AC performance is important with Sandium!

Updated on Oct 22, 2023
5 min read
How to Know Your AC Coil Needs Cleaning?

There are two types of coils in an air conditioning system – condenser and evaporator coil. These are two of the most important and expensive components in your AC unit whether or not it’s a Northern California business or home. Evaporator coil is responsible for absorbing heat from the indoor unit while the condenser coil expels the heat outside. This is done through the refrigerator action. When dust settles on these coils, they are unable to do their job properly.

Signs the AC Coil Needs Cleaning

There is always dirt on the condenser coil. How much dirt is too much? Most air conditioners require twice a year cleaning as part of preventive maintenance. A good rule of thumb is to get a professional to clean the coils when you think too much dust has settled on them or the AC is not functioning as it is supposed to.

These are a few other factors may require frequent cleaning:

  • Age and condition: Older equipment accumulates dust and dirt quicker.
  • Usage: the system will accumulate more dirt if the load is higher. Occupancy of space and number of hours the air conditioner runs on an average in a day are other factors.
  • Location: Is the exterior unit close to street level with higher levels of pollution? Is there demolition or construction happening nearby? Is the unit exposed to exhaust from nearby factories and kitchens? You will need to have the coils cleaned more often if so.

Never Clean On Your Own

Coil fins are sensitive and can easily get damaged by too much abrasion or force. You may end up sabotaging your air conditioning unit if you use the wrong type of cleaning products. There is also the risk of electric shock, fire, and potentially dangerous chemicals. This job is best left to trained and experienced AC contractors.

Consequences of Not Having the AC Coil Cleaned on Time

Nobody really looks at their air conditioning unit unless it stops functioning. Take a look at the coil if it is located in an accessible spot. The coil is long tube shaped and has metal fins on the outside. Things are probably not pleasant looking if you haven’t had the unit cleaned for some time. There are several things that can go wrong if the evaporator and condenser coil are not cleaned in a timely manner. Besides ineffective cooling, other consequences include:

  • High utility bills: The AC system needs to work harder and run longer when the coils are dirty. This is to keep your space cool. Your air conditioner will end up drawing more power. Many homeowners notice a drop in their electricity bill with regular AC coil cleaning.
  • Frequent breakdowns: There will be additional strain on your AC when it needs to work harder and run longer. Parts will wear out faster and take the system down.
  • Shorter lifespan: Expected lifespan is shortened due to an increased wear on the AC system. You may find yourself needing a replacement sooner.

All things considered, having the coils cleaned on your AC will pay for itself in the long term. This is a relatively inexpensive insurance policy. You will benefit from increased system lifespan, lower repair bills, and better energy savings. Delaying coil cleaning may need you to replace the system before its time.

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