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How to Clean Air Conditioner Evaporator Coils

If your air conditioning is running more than it used to, it is likely time to clean your air conditioner evaporator coils. The evaporator coil within a central air conditioning system collects dust and dirt as air moves over it. The coil contains refrigerant that absorbs heat from the circulating air. A layer of dirt creates a barrier to heat absorption. As a result, your air conditioning will have to run longer and work harder, your home will feel less comfortable, and your electric bill will rise. An extremely dirty coil could induce mold growth that spreads a musty smell through the ducts.

Maintaining an air conditioner is a job that’s best left to the professionals. At Oliver Heating & Cooling we’ve been providing reliable air conditioning services in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware for 50 years. You can count on our technicians to help clean your evaporator coils as well as perform any additional maintenance your air conditioning unit may need to help increase its energy efficiency.

Tools and Materials How to Clean Air Conditioner Evaporator Coils

If you have pets, look for a coil cleaner product formulated for pet hair and dander. *Be sure to follow all safety recommendations on the label.

  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Utility knife
  • Evaporator coil brush or paint brush
  • No-rinse evaporator coil spray cleaner for indoor use
  • Foil tape

Steps for How to Clean Air Conditioner Evaporator Coils

  1. Switch your thermostat to OFF.
  2. Locate the metal housing next to the air conditioner or air handler.
  3. Find the access panel on the metal housing.
    1. It may be secured with screws, held in place by knobs, or snap into place with tabs.
  4. If foil tape covers the edges of the panel, slice through it with a utility knife.
  5. Use the screwdriver or your fingers as needed to carefully take off the panel.
  6. At this point, you might see the evaporator coil, which has fins like a radiator and metal tubing.
  7. If you just see another compartment, take the next panel off to reveal the coil.
  8. Once you see the evaporator coil, consult the label on the no-rinse cleaner and spray the fins.
  9. Let the cleaner foam on the coil and drip in the drain pan for 15 to 20 minutes.
  10. Apply more spray cleaner.
  11. As the second coating drips away, gently scrub off lingering grime with a brush.
  12. When cleaning is complete, reattach the panel or panels.
  13. Stick fresh coil tape along the seams to prevent air leaks that could result in whistling noises.
  14. Turn the thermostat back ON.

Stay on Top of Seasonal Air Conditioning Maintenance

Although the steps for how to clean air conditioner evaporator coils are manageable, it’s just one part of the necessary maintenance your AC unit requires. The technicians at Oliver Heating & Cooling perform a 19-point inspection during a maintenance call. Our air conditioning tune-ups improve cooling performance, promote energy efficiency, and reduce wear and tear. We’re proud to offer an affordable air conditioning maintenance plan so that you can protect your equipment and enjoy a comfortable home. Learn more about the benefits of our maintenance plan and reach out today to enroll.

Need help with this project?

If you do not have the time, tools, or experience necessary to complete the project, please contact the professionals at Oliver for help.

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