Cleaning AC Coils: Tips & Tricks

Posted on: May 7, 2021

How do you clean a dirty AC coil Condenser coils in your air conditioner are one of the unit’s most vital components. They are essential in the cooling process itself. Unfortunately, air conditioner coils can become dirty, causing potentially serious issues with your air conditioner.

To avoid preventable AC repair, it is necessary to clean the coils every once in a while. In most cases, the best way to clean your coils is by hiring a professional. There are HVAC specialists available throughout your area in Corona, Menifee, Murrieta, Canyon Lake, and the rest of South Riverside. Certified technicians can perform other forms of AC maintenance in addition to coil cleaning, detect any issues or need for repairs. In this article, you will learn why it’s important to keep your coils clean and how to undertake the process.

What happens if my AC coils are dirty?

Your AC condenser coils, located in the air conditioner outdoor unit, carry refrigerant and allow it to transfer heat from your home. As the air is blown over the condenser coils, the heat is transferred to the outside air through the refrigerant. As they are located outside, condenser coils are exposed to all kinds of dirt and debris. Over time, the dirt can build up on the coils, potentially causing a variety of problems. Some of the most common issues include:

Inefficient cooling

If you allow dirt to build up on the condenser coils, the added layer will create a barrier between the heat in the refrigerant and the air being blown over the coils. This can decrease the efficiency of heat transfer. In other words, the overall efficiency of your air conditioning system will be compromised. If you notice your air conditioner isn’t cooling your home as well as it used to, dirty coils may be the culprit.

High energy bills

Due to your air conditioner’s decreased efficiency, higher energy bills are inevitable if your condenser coils to get too dirty. Essentially, your air conditioner will have to work longer and harder to cool down your home, leading to greater energy consumption and higher bills.

Expensive repairs

There is also a high likelihood of your AC breaking down if the condenser coils accumulate too much dirt and debris. To minimize the risk of coil leaks, prevent expensive repairs, and prolong your air conditioner’s lifespan, routine maintenance is a must. Make sure to hire reliable professionals to inspect and service your unit.

How do you clean a dirty AC coil?

Hiring professionals to clean your AC coils is the most effective method to ensure optimal performance without risks of mishandling components. Licensed and trained HVAC technicians have the tools and skills necessary to perform effective AC repair and service without risking further damage to your system. Here some of the most commonly used techniques for coil cleaning:

  • Use compressed air to clear lighter buildup on coils. Direct the compressed air in the opposite direction of the normal coil air flow. While doing so, watch to ensure consistent flow across the coils until the debris is cleared. Eye protection is recommended.
  • Use a soft brush to remove light dirt buildup. This method involves using the brush directly on the coils, sweeping and scrubbing away the dirt. Hard bristles and wire brushes are not advisable as they can damage your AC fins.
  • Using a commercial cleaner or a home-made detergent to carefully clean coils. For home-made detergents, experts recommend using mild detergents mixed with water in a spray bottle. The mixture can be sprayed on the coils and wiped away after a couple of minutes.
  • Using heavy-duty cleaning agents to clean heavy build-up. Professional HVAC technicians can use a pressure washer or a steam cleaner along with heavy-duty chemicals to clean heavily soiled coils. This process can sometimes involve more complex steps such as removing the coil, cutting refrigerant lines, and reassembling the system afterward.

Can I use vinegar to clean AC coils?

Yes, vinegar mixed with water is often used to clean AC coils at home. However, vinegar is usually effective only against lighter dirt build-ups. Nevertheless, you can keep your coils in good shape by mixing white vinegar and water in a spray bottle and spraying the mixture onto the coils.

If your condenser coils are greasy, you can also try adding a tablespoon of baking soda to the mix. This can be an effective way to remove dust and fight persistent grease on the coils. You can also use a mild detergent or dishwasher instead of the baking soda for even better results.

How much and when do you use vinegar for the air conditioner?

There is no exact amount and frequency for using vinegar to clean your AC coils. Still, about ¼ of a cup of vinegar will do the trick in most cases. As for the frequency, you can get good results by cleaning the coils every month or every couple of months. Naturally, cleaning the coils can be time-consuming, especially when other AC maintenance tasks are added to the solution. For convenience and reliability, most homeowners choose to leave condenser coil cleaning to professionals.

Need efficient AC repair in Corona? Contact us now

What happens if my AC coils are dirty Lack of AC maintenance can cause a range of issues, including severely clogged condensate drains, ACs dripping water inside, and even major breakdowns. If you are concerned you need an AC repair or air conditioning system service, contact HVAC experts sooner rather than later to have them inspect and clean your unit.

Homeowners in Corona and surrounding South Riverside cities can depend on Action Air Conditioning, Heating and Solar for expertise-based AC repair, maintenance, and installation services. Whether you are located near Santiago Peak or down south near Discovery Lake, you can depend on Action to provide fast-response service and expert solutions. With updated certification and years of field experience, our technicians are capable of resolving all kinds of AC concerns with precision and efficiency.

Contact Action Air Conditioning Heating and Solar to maximize your indoor comfort and minimize your energy bills. We are your service call for all your heating and cooling needs. Feel free to reach out to our professional team today.