Air conditioner efficiency can be affected by many factors, but one of the easiest to control is the condition of the unit’s evaporator and condenser coils. By maintaining clean A/C coils and keeping them free of buildup and debris, you increase your cooling system’s ability to absorb and release heat, improving efficiency and performance and saving energy and money.
Evaporator and condenser coils are found in air conditioners and in refrigeration systems. They are usually made of copper and include a series of aluminum fins that aid heat transfer. A refrigerant flows through the coils and captures or releases heat as it is pressurized and depressurized, changing from liquid to gaseous form. The evaporator coil, most commonly found indoors, is where heat is absorbed from the surrounding air, which provides cooling. The outdoor condenser coil releases heat that has been captured by the refrigerant and moved outside.
Air blowing across the coils disperses heat or coolness from the coils. The coils can accumulate dust, pollen, dirt and other material contained in this air. Dirty A/C coils can cause problems such as:
- Decreased heat transfer
- Greater energy consumption for cooling operations
- Reduced cooling capacity
- Increased operating pressure and temperatures
- Increased overall wear on the unit
- Breakdown of compressor lubricant, which can lead to compressor damage or failure
An air conditioner with dirty coils can use almost 40 percent more energy than one with clean coils. Cooling capacity can be reduced by 30 percent or more.
As part of regular preventive maintenance, A/C coils should be cleaned regularly, monthly if the coils get dirty quickly. Otherwise, cleaning every three months should be sufficient. Light accumulations of dirt can be removed with pressurized air and a bristle brush, but heavier layers may require treatment with water and a mild detergent, a specialized foam-type cleaner or a pressure washer.
HVAC customers in Amarillo and the surrounding areas trust Amarillo Air Conditioning for professional heating, cooling and indoor air quality services. Contact us today for more information on the benefits of clean A/C coils and how clean coils increase air conditioner efficiency and performance.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Amarillo, Texas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about keeping your a/c coils clean and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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