Dirty Evaporator Coil? How to Clean an AC Evaporator Coil

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A well-functioning evaporator coil is essential to the operational efficiency of your furnace or air conditioning system. It also impacts how your heating system works if you’re using a heat pump. If your evaporator coil is dirty, that keeps it from absorbing enough heat, which means the refrigerant running through the evaporator coil isn’t warming up as much as it should. That’s very bad news, as a cold refrigerant creates water vapor in your air to freeze, instead of condensing that into a liquid. As a result, the evaporator coil can end up frosting over. Don’t let that happen. Cleaning the coil will do a lot to restore function and ensure a longer service life for your AC. If you’re wondering how you could go about cleaning that AC component, here are a few tips to help you.

How to Clean the Evaporator Coil

This task is easy enough to do. If you want to try a DIY approach to the problem, then follow these steps on how to clean evaporator coils:

  • First, turn off the air conditioning system. Switch the thermostat to off and unplug the unit. That way, you won’t need to worry about the AC accidentally turning on while you’re tinkering with its parts.
  • Once that step is done, remove the access panel on the furnace. It’s the same if you have an air conditioning system. Lift that panel and you’ll expose the coil.
  • Spray a no-rinse cleaner on the fins of the evaporator coil. Make sure you read through the instructions properly, though, before you direct the spray cleaner can to the coil.
  • If there’s debris that just won’t let go, then use a gentle nylon brush or paintbrush to clear that away.
  • Put the access panel back once the coil is clean, turn the AC back on, and you’re done.

If you want to try your hand at taking care of this task on your own, then these are the steps you’ll need to follow. However, if you have no time for this, or you’d rather let a professional handle this in case you’re afraid of making a mistake—perfectly reasonable concerns, of course—then start looking for a technician. Here are other reasons why you’ll want to get a pro for the job.

Why Should I Hire a Service Contractor?

The task might seem easy enough to handle. And if your only issue is with cleaning the coil, then you can expect to spend no more than a few minutes on the task or at the very least, the better part of an hour. However, if there are other issues that arise, or already existing problems, you’ll need to do more than clean the coil to get your AC unit working without a hitch. That’s where a professional comes in. Hiring a service contractor means you have an expert who can look at the problem, determine what’s causing the issue, and provide a solution. Pros also know what signs to watch out for, what faulty components are likely at the root of your problems, and what can be done to fix the situation.

Should I Repair or Replace?

In some cases, though, repairs can only get you so far. If you’ve hired a proto look at the problem and the contractor points out reasons why it’s better to replace your AC unit rather than spending money on one repair after another, listen to that advice. Take it to heart. If the repairs have been more frequent lately, then you’re only doing stop-gap measures. Stop throwing money down the drain and start looking around for a replacement AC unit. The sooner you get a new unit in place, the sooner you can forget your worries.

Related Read: Replace the Air Conditioner or Just the Evaporator Coil?

Should I Get a Maintenance Plan?

One of the best things about hiring service providers these days is that many of them offer maintenance plans. Anyone with an AC unit knows how inconvenient it can be to keep tabs on your AC’s maintenance schedule. Paying for a maintenance plan, though, means that someone else will handle that from now on. They’ll take it off your hands, so you won’t need to worry about forgetting to hire a service contractor to clean and perform maintenance service on your unit.

How Do I Choose a Technician?

Now all that’s left is for you to hire the right technician for the job. There are plenty of options, for sure, but not all of them will be the right ones for your needs. Here’s a list of tips to make this easier for you:

  • Ask around. It wouldn’t hurt to reach out to people you know and trust in the area. Reach out to them for recommendations and suggestions on which service companies for AC repairs and maintenance satisfy their needs. What company do they call?
  • Do your homework. Start looking for companies that fit the bill. Which ones offer the services and maintenance plans you need? Be sure to go over the plans. What are the terms and conditions?
  • Check the reviews. What’s the reigning feedback about the company? Are there a lot of positive comments or are there a ton of negative reviews?If there are even complaints lodged against the company, then spare yourself the trouble. Look elsewhere.
  • Hire local. When you hire a service provider, start with local options. They’re much more likely to make room for you on their calendar, especially if you’re close by. The proximity means that they can get to your home with ease. Take advantage of that.
  • Know the signs. Be on the lookout for any signs that you might be dealing with a dodgy service provider. Listen to your instincts. If they’re telling you that something is off, walk away and start looking for a trusted technician.

Whether it’s to clean the coil, perform repairs or maintenance, and even install a new unit, hiring the services of a professional technician will go a long way to giving you peace of mind.