What will happen if you don’t regularly clean your AC condenser coils?

Dirt and grime on AC coils make it harder for your equipment to transfer heat. That means it has to run longer and work harder to do its job, using more energy and causing parts to wear and break down. Dirty coils also get corroded which leads to refrigerant leaks. There are a variety of ways your coils can get dirty. If your outdoor unit is located near a street, it is exposed to exhaust, which can build up on the coils. Dirt, foliage, and other natural debris can also build up on your condenser coil and cause issues. As for the indoor evaporator coil, dust and pet hair can build up, especially if your air filter is dirty (or if you don’t have an air filter.)

What do the AC coils do?

Your AC coils are some of the most important parts of the air conditioning system. There are two types of coils: evaporator coils (part of the indoor unit) that absorb the heat and humidity from the air in your space; and condenser coils (typically located outside) that expel that heat outside of your building. When the outside of the coils collect a layer of dirt and contaminants, the transfer of heat (into the evaporator coil and out of the condenser coil) becomes much less efficient. That causes a number of problems that you’ll start to notice as the problem gets worse such as refrigerant leaks, inefficient energy usage, and parts wearing down more quickly.

How often should your coils be cleaned?

Typically once a year with your preventive maintenance plan. This should be a priority at least once a year to keep them in the best shape they can be. You may be tempted to clean the AC coils yourself to reduce expenses. That’s not the best idea, because those small fins you see on the outside of the coils are very sensitive. If you use the wrong types of cleaners or the wrong technique, they can easily become damaged. The small cost you pay to have it done correctly can save you a bundle in repair expenses down the road.

Hopefully, that explains everything you need to know about cleaning the AC coils. But if you do have more questions, feel free to reach out to us at Front Range HVAC anytime!