5 Signs That Indicate Your Air Conditioner Coils Need Urgent Cleaning

The evaporator, condenser, expansion valve, and compressor are considered the most crucial parts of an air conditioner.

However, there are other components that may not be as big or well-known as these four parts but are still crucial for the air conditioning unit to work properly. One of these is the coils.

Air conditioners have two types of coils: the evaporator coil and the condenser coil.

The evaporator coil is the part that removes heat and moisture from the circulating indoor air to cool it.

On the other hand, the condenser coil absorbs that heat and releases it outside.

These two coils need to work together smoothly and seamlessly to ensure the air conditioning unit releases cool, good-quality air indoors.

But like other parts of the air conditioner, both evaporator and condenser coils can get dirty, causing the unit to perform poorly.

When these components are not cleaned and maintained properly, they can even cause the AC to break down.

Having a professional coil cleaner check, clean, and maintain both evaporator and condenser coils regularly is a must if you want your air conditioner to keep your home cool with clean, fresh air.

When to Have Your AC Coils Cleaned

Air conditioner coils give noticeable signs when they need to be cleaned immediately.

These signs include:

1. Musty, mildewy smell.

If your AC is giving out a musty odour reminiscent of mildew and moulds, your unit likely has dirty coils.

Musty, mildewy smell

Fungus, which causes mildew, can grow on your evaporator coil when it is covered in dust, grime, and germs. These substances will remain and spread throughout the unit until you have it cleaned.

When you turn on your AC, air with mildew will circulate inside your home, spreading the unpleasant and unhealthy odour and microorganisms.

2. Reduced cooling capacity.

Filthy evaporator coils prevent your air conditioning unit from operating functionally. Because of this, your home won’t feel cool whenever you turn it on.

This is easily noticeable when you have a different cooling unit for each room.

Some rooms will feel warmer than the others when your centralised air conditioner has dirty evaporator coils.

Additionally, when your unit takes longer than usual to release air at the right temperature, it means your evaporator coil needs cleaning and your AC’s cooling capacity has been reduced.

3. Increased indoor humidity.

The evaporator coil removes both heat and moisture from the air. Because of this, condensation happens whenever heat is transmitted from the air to the evaporator.

When the evaporator coil is full of dirt, less heat will be transferred to the evaporator coil.

This, in turn, will cause the unit to produce less condensation.

As a result, moisture vapour will remain inside your home. You will also notice other signs of higher humidity indoors, including foggy windows and moist and clammy air.

4. Presence of ice on the evaporator coil.

When you see ice on the evaporator coil while your unit is running, it signifies that this part is filthy.

ice on the evaporator coil

Dirt and grime on the evaporator coil can cause the refrigerant’s temperature to drop and freeze. As a result, you’ll see moisture and ice on this part of your AC.

This frost build-up on the coil can cause your unit to stop cooling the indoor air entirely.

5. Higher energy bill.

If your current energy bill is extremely high, even if there are no drastic changes in the temperature and use of the air conditioner, it is a sign that your unit has a dusty and grimy evaporator coil.

Since a dirty evaporator coil isn’t working correctly, the overall efficiency of your air conditioner will be affected.

AC units with difficulties running at full efficiency tend to eat more electricity. Because of this, your energy bills will be higher.

When you notice one or more of these signs, clean the AC coils immediately.

Cleaning Air Conditioner Coils

If you feel confident about cleaning the evaporator and condenser coils and they are not extremely grimy, you can go the DIY route to remove the dirt and grime by using a brush and commercial or homemade cleaning solution.

However, if the coils are too filthy and you’re not familiar with handling air conditioners, you might not be able to give them the thorough cleaning they need. In this instance, it is best to leave this job to trained HVAC professionals.

Cleaning the air conditioner coils means removing the panels and outer case of the unit. This is already a tricky part because if you’re not careful, you can damage these parts.

You also need to be careful about handling the dirty coils. When damaged, these parts can cause more problems for your cooling unit.

HVAC professionals are trained to handle different types of air conditioners and their parts. Additionally, they have the skills and know-how to clean the units and their components and perform other maintenance services to ensure the AC works properly.

HVAC technicians will remove the AC coils to clean them thoroughly and deeply. They will also use specialised tools and cleaning solutions to get rid of all the dust, grime, and contaminants.

Once done, they will refit the parts correctly to make the unit fully functional again.

During the cleaning process, the technicians will also take the time to check other parts to ensure they are working properly and inform you if they need immediate repairs or replacement.

Routine Air Conditioner Coils Cleaning

Regular air conditioner maintenance is crucial for keeping your unit, including the AC coils, clean and running smoothly.

This means having technicians conduct routine maintenance services on your air conditioner every six months is a must.

However, if your home is near a busy street or dusty area, you might need to have the AC coils cleaned more frequently since they are likely to get dirty faster.

As the homeowner, there are things you can do to minimise the dirt that accumulates in the coils.

An example of this is changing the AC filter every three months since this helps keep dirt, dust, and debris out of the unit and coils.

A poorly working air conditioner will affect the comfort and appeal of your living space. Maintain your unit routinely and always be on the lookout for signs that it may have dirty coils, and have professionals clean them immediately so that you can continue having a pleasant and cosy home.  

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