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Keeping homes cool this summer in Florida, without racking up huge energy bills relies on not only having an efficient A/C system but making sure that it’s properly maintained as well. One important component of a well-maintained cooling system is clean evaporator coils. This raises the question, then, how to clean evaporator coils? Located inside your home as part of the air handler, evaporator coils in air conditioners contain refrigerant that removes heat from the air that passes over them, before the now hot refrigerant is pumped outside to the condensing unit. Keeping these coils clean is the key to making sure the heat exchange process works properly. Neglected coils have the potential to accumulate mold and rust, which can lead to costly repairs.

Follow these steps on how to clean evaporator coils:

1. Turn off the thermostat, making sure there is no power going to the A/C.

2. Remove the panel to the evaporator coils, which is located where the air duct connects. Usually this panel can be removed with an appropriately sized screwdriver.

3. Clean the coils either by using a physical tool, like a brush, or a specialized chemical agent. Steam heat is also an option but is best done professionally, as this method can lead to potential damage of the A/C unit.

Soft brush and water: This simple method will prevent any chemical damage to the sensitive evaporator coil, but be gentle with the brush and make sure to rinse thoroughly. For best results, use a handheld water sprayer in order to apply pressure without scrubbing.

Chemicals: Evaporator coil cleaners can be found at some specialty hardware stores, and it’s important to find one that’s made for evaporator coils – as some chemicals can be too harsh and damage the unit. Apply the chemical or foam, wait 15 minutes or as directed, then rinse.

Warning: Compressed air is not a solution for dirty coils, this will just push the dirt, debris and mold into the circulation of air inside your home.

4. Reattach panel and seal with metal foil tape. 

5. Turn on thermostat to restart the air conditioner.

For further assistance with inspecting and cleaning your evaporator coils or any component of your cooling system, please contact our experts at Senica Air Conditioning, Inc. Inc. Have your system inspected as part of seasonal maintenance to avoid costly repairs and inefficient operation. We provide exceptional HVAC services to Tampa, St. Petersburg and Clearwater.

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