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Dirty evaporator coils significantly decrease air conditioner efficiency. Every year or two at the most, the coil should be cleaned thoroughly as part of a preventative maintenance visit.

Here are seven different techniques you can use to clean evaporator coils without taking the entire system apart. (Remember, before you open access panels and start working on the system, shut off the power to the A/C for safety reasons.)

  • Compressed air: This quick, effective cleaning method involves spraying compressed air at the evaporator coils. This is done in the opposite direction of normal airflow to avoid forcing dirt deeper into the coil fins or possibly bending the fins and clogging the system. To avoid spraying dust into the air handler or your eyes, and to make cleanup easier, use a shop vacuum in conjunction with the compressed air cleaning method.
  • Steam cleaning: This is similar to using compressed air, but steam is used in place of just air. Spraying at the correct angle is important to prevent damaging the coils.
  • Brush cleaning: By brushing the coils with a soft brush every few months, you increase efficiency and prevent heavy debris buildup from ever occurring.
  • Chemicals: Commercial chemicals are available to clean evaporator coils. Before you choose an acidic or alkaline-based cleaner, check with the manufacturer to ensure they approve of your cleaning method.
  • Water and mild detergent: Using a hose and mild detergent is an excellent cleaning method with little risk of damaging the evaporator coils because of the relative gentleness compared to using chemicals.
  • Foam: Foaming cleaners are available specifically for cleaning air conditioner coils. A gentle brand is chemically benign to prevent corrosion or other problems.
  • Pressure washer: This aggressive cleaning method is the most thorough and effective for cleaning badly soiled evaporator coils. Professional HVAC companies use a portable pressure washer to get the job done.

To enjoy thorough, professional cleaning of the air conditioner evaporator coils without risking harm to the system, please contact Griffith Energy Services, Inc. We dispatch service vehicles from 12 different locations in Maryland, Virginia, Delaware and West Virginia to better serve you.

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