Your AC acts as a savior during the hot summer months in the UAE. Nothing can refresh and revive you than a room that has a perfectly working AC. AC coils play a vital role in cooling of the room as they help in transferring the heat from your room to the outside of your home. However, there are times when your AC stops cooling properly and however much you try the cooling does not improve. In this scenario, and if you haven’t got your AC coils cleaned for a long time, it is likely that the dirt and contaminants have accumulated on the air conditioner coils of your AC units preventing the heat transfer process. This is the time to consider getting an AC coil cleaning service done. Here is a quick start guide about AC coil cleaning process and its importance.
What are the types of AC coils?
There are two types of AC coils – Condenser and Evaporator coils. The evaporator is an AC cooling coil placed inside your home. It absorbs the heat present in the indoor air and transfers the heat to the refrigerant flowing through it. The refrigerant becomes warmer and travels to the Condenser coil outdoors. Condenser coil which is located outside the home expels the heat absorbed by the Evaporator coil to the outside world.
Why do AC coils need cleaning and how frequently?
Since both the Condenser and Evaporator coils are exposed to the air, there is a chance of accumulation of dust particles, bacteria, moistness, etc. on these coils. Dirty coils prevent heat exchange and result in not only the improper functioning of the AC but also several allergies and breathing problems on continuous exposure. Also, if you leave the coils uncleaned, they will start creating an unpleasant smell in your home.
More importantly, it is estimated that dirty evaporator and condenser coils can increase the energy usage of your AC system by over 30 percent. It is therefore recommended that to reduce utility bills, the AC coils should be cleaned at least once a year.
Also read: 5 Tips to increase AC life
What materials and tools are required to clean AC coils?
Materials and tools required for the AC coil cleaning process are AC coil cleaning foam, coil cleaning brush, screwdriver, garden hose, coil comb, and non-absorbent gloves. AC coil cleaning foam and brush are used to get rid of stubborn dirt and grime, screwdriver and coil comb is used to straighten the coil fins, if they are bent, to enable greater heat transfer. Garden hose is used to rinse the coils if needed.
What is the step-by-step process to clean the AC coils?
AC coil cleaning process is usually determined based on the extent of cleanliness required. Let us discuss the common process of AC coil cleaning for both Condenser and Evaporator coils
Disconnect power to the air conditioner and remove the evaporator coil through an access panel using a screwdriver. The outer casing and top may need to be removed in some cases. After exposing the coils inspect them to decide the cleaning process.
Check the coils and remove the dirt, dust and other debris stuck in and around the coils that are visible using a brush. If you find any fins bent on coils you can straighten them by using the flat screwdriver or the coil comb.
Spray the AC coil cleaner or coil cleaning chemical on the coils. The foam from the cleaning chemical will slowly fill between the coils where dust has accumulated. Leave the cleaner for 5-10 min as per the instructions, it will slowly remove all the dust trapped between the coils.
If needed rinse the foam using a garden hose. If you are using rinse-free cleaner there is no need of external water, condensate will remove all the foam. Now you can assemble all the parts removed.
Close the outer casing and test the cooling of the room. The whole process can take from 2-4 hours per AC unit. Kindly note that since coil fins are very delicate make sure that they don’t get damaged during cleaning.
How often do you need to clean the AC coils?
In general AC coil cleaning is done at least once a year. However, depending on the factors like location, usage, age and condition of the AC, coil cleaning can be done more than once in a year.
Coil cleaning although sounds simple requires proper training, attitude, and patience from the professional doing it. So, for better experience always approach a professional AC maintenance company as not all companies do the work.