How To Clean AC Evaporator Coils Inside House?

Many homeowners have never heard of evaporator coils. As a result, it’s unlikely that they have ever wondered How To Clean AC Evaporator Coils Inside House? AC evaporator coils are usually ignored until they stop working.

Imperfectly cleaning your AC evaporator coils can leave contaminants behind and reduce the efficiency of your air conditioning system, resulting in not only wasted energy but also higher utility bills and increased stress on your HVAC system.

You can avoid these issues and save time and money by keeping your ac evaporator coils clean. Here is how to do it? Here, we will explain what exactly AC evaporator coils are and what they do, as well as ways to ensure that they stay clean and maintainable cool. We’ll go over the steps for cleaning the evaporator coils yourself, as well as when you should hire an expert.

Clean AC Evaporator Coils Inside House

What Exactly Are Evaporator Coils In An Air Conditioner?

Heat is absorbed from the air inside your house by the evaporator coil of your heat pump or air conditioner. As part of the heat exchange process, it produces cool air and completes the heat exchange process.

Dirt and debris generate on evaporator coils over time, causing the system to freeze or cause corrosion. Coils should be cleaned regularly to keep them in good condition and leak-free. Knowing How To Clean AC Evaporator Coils Inside House? Is an important part of keeping your system running smoothly.

How Do Evaporator Coils In An Air Conditioner Work?

To know how an AC evaporator coil performs, you must first realize how an air conditioning unit works. Unlike a furnace, an air conditioner does not produce cold air. Instead, the system that removes heat from the air in your home carries it through the air conditioner and sends the hot air outside.

To do this, the refrigerant flows throughout the entire air conditioning system, carrying and releasing heat to ultimately cool the air. This cycle is repeated indefinitely until enough heat is removed from the air in your home to match the temperature set on your thermostat.

Evaporator coils are typically made from copper or steel, both of which are good heat conductors. The heat carried by the refrigerant is absorbed by the evaporator coil as it runs through it.

Heat is absorbed by the evaporator coil and transferred to the rest of the air conditioner and released outside the home via condenser coils. As heat is absorbed and released, cool air circulates throughout your home. As long as routine maintenance is performed, most AC evaporator coils should last between 10 to 15 years.

Where Are The Evaporator Coils Located?

Depending on the system, the evaporator coil is attached to your furnace or installed inside your air handler. Your air conditioning unit’s evaporator coil is inside and should only be accessed by a trained HVAC technician.

Indications Of A Dirty Evaporator Coil

The most common identity of a dirty evaporator coil is a significant drop in the cooling system. Dirt along the coil acts as an insulator between the refrigerant coil and the air. This makes it more difficult for the refrigerant to absorb heat from the air, causing the room temperature to rise. With a dirty evaporator coil, an air conditioner won’t be able to provide the expected cooling.

Dirty AC Coils Caused Issues

Dirty AC coils can cause a variety of problems that can seriously impair the operation of your air conditioner. The following are the major causes of concern associated with dirty air conditioning coils:

Reduced Cooling Capacity

Your outdoor unit is in charge of transferring heat outside. When your AC coils are covered with debris, the heat transfer process is hampered. When this happens, you will notice a decrease in the cooling capacity of your air conditioner.

Excessive Energy Consumption

The debris-filled coils make it difficult for your unit to operate efficiently. To achieve your desired temperature settings, your air conditioner will have to exert more effort and work for a longer period. As a result, your energy bills will rise because your system will use more energy than usual.

Increase The Levels Of Ice On Coils

The coils stop working properly as dirt accumulates on them. Warm air does not reach the refrigerant because the debris restricts airflow. The refrigerant becomes too cold as a result of this. Any condensation on the coils freezes and leads to ice buildup when this happens. Regular AC maintenance is highly recommended to avoid this situation.

Enhanced Wear And Tear

Ignoring to clean your AC coils can also cause them to become completely blocked. As a result, the compressor operates at a high temperature, putting the entire system under stress. Replacing compressors is an expensive expense rather than cleaning regularly and adhering to annual maintenance schedules.

How To Clean AC Evaporator Coils Inside The House?

You should gather all the tools before cleaning your AC coils. Make sure your unit is turned off before opening it to look for the coils. Turn off the circuit breaker as well, just to be safe. When cleaning AC coils, be careful not to forcefully touch the fins, as they are extremely delicate and can bend with minimal pressure.

Tools Required For Cleaning AC Coils

Some items listed below can be found around the house. However, few things you may need to purchase.

  • A Coil combs
  • Gloves
  • Cloth piece
  • Eyewear for protection
  •  detergent or commercial cleaner
  •  Brush for Cleaning
  • Fin comb

Basics To Clean AC Evaporator Coils

Evaporator coils should be checked and cleaned on a routine basis. If the coils are prone to accumulating dirt and debris, monthly cleaning may be necessary. Or else, you may have to clean them every 3 months during the cooling season or once a year during routine preventive maintenance.

Getting Access To Clean AC Evaporator Coils

Your indoor air system should have an access panel that can be removed to reveal the evaporator coil. If needed, consult your AC owner’s manual to locate the access panel and evaporator coil.

  • Set the panel and screws aside in a safe place where they won’t get misplaced or separated.

Using Compressed Air Clean Ac Evaporator Coils

Light dirt and other material accumulations can frequently be removed from the evaporator coil by blowing them loose with compressed air.

  1. By applying compressed air across the coil in the opposite direction of the usual airflow, start on the cleanest side and work your way to the dirtiest.
  2. For some more stubborn debris, position the air nozzle close to the bottom of the debris.
  3. If using strong air, direct it through the fins at a 90-degree angle. The fins will be protected as a result.
  4. Keep the airflow consistent across the coil. This will dislodge the buildup without forcing it deeper into the fins and making removal more difficult.

Use A Brush To Clean AC Evaporator Coils

Brush cleaners can be an extremely effective method for removing minor dirt accumulations from evaporator coils. Brush cleaners eliminate the need for liquids or chemicals while giving you greater control over the pressure applied to the coils and fins.

  1. Sweep dirt accumulations away from the coils with the brush.
  2. Scrub with the brush to loosen stubborn, difficult-to-remove material.
  3. Avoid using hard-bristle brushes or wire brushes, as they may cause damage to the fins.

Cleaning AC Evaporator Coils With Commercial Cleaners

Commercial cleaners of various brands are available for washing evaporator coils. Most are from the foaming variety, which degrades and drains into the unit’s drainage system. Consult with a reputable local HVAC contractor for advice on which cleaner is best suited to your needs. Follow the product’s instructions and safety precautions.

  1. Spray the coils with the cleaner as directed.
  2. Allow the foaming action to take place and wait for the foam and debris to drain away.
  3. Apply the cleaner again and again until the coils are clean and free of buildup.

Clean Up AC Evaporator Coils With Mild Detergents And Water

To clean the coils, you can use a mild detergent and warm water instead of a commercial cleaner.

  1. In a spray bottle or hand sprayer or garden sprayer, combine warm water and a simple detergent.
  2. Spray the evaporator coils with the water and detergent solution.
  3. Allow the solution to soak for a few seconds to loosen debris. As needed, reapply.
  4. Using a soft cloth or brush, remove any loose material.

Heavy-Duty Cleaning For AC Evaporator Coils

Strong chemicals or heavy-duty cleaning techniques and equipment, such as a pressure washer or steam cleaner, may be required for heavily soiled evaporator coils. The process may also necessitate changes to your air conditioning system, such as the removal of the coil, the cutting and reattachment of refrigerant lines, the restoration of vacuum in the refrigerant lines, and the recharging/refilling of the system with refrigerant.

If your AC evaporator coils are heavily soiled or dirty enough to interfere with air conditioner operation, you should plan an expert cleaning and maintenance appointment with your local HVAC contractor. 

The HVAC Service technicians can accurately evaluate the task and will have the tools needed, instruction, and equipment to clean your AC evaporator coil and recover cooling system function without causing serious harm to the coils, fins, or other components.

Additional Tips

Perhaps you are satisfied with the outcomes of your self-cleaning efforts, having a professional perform annual maintenance is still a good idea. They can not only do a thorough job of shining the coils, but they can also detect any other issues early on and correct them. Typically, the technician will:

  1. Change the air filters
  2. Vacuum the coils
  3. Examine the evaporator coils for refrigerant leaks.
  4. Address any other issues with the coils that could lead to larger problems in the future.

General Tips

As a general rule, clean the dust and debris from your AC coils every two months. This routine, in addition to your annual maintenance, should be followed.


If you want to get the most out of your air conditioning system, you should be aware of the causes of dirty AC evaporator coils and How To Clean AC Evaporator Coils Inside House?

The significance of cleaning your air conditioner or heat pump’s evaporator coils on regular basis cannot be overstated. You can keep your air conditioning systems running efficiently while keeping your utility bills low by performing routine maintenance and cleaning.

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens if you go through the cleaning process yourself, but still there is no noticeable difference in your energy bill?

A professional cleaning task may cause the hiring of an HVAC technician.

How Often Should Your AC Coils Be Cleaned?

Depending on your usage and home location, clean your AC coils when they get dirty. You should increase the frequency of cleaning during the summer when your use is especially high. If you live in an area with high levels of outdoor pollution, clean your coils more frequently.

What is the distinction between an evaporator and a condenser coil? How do these two interact?

Although the condenser and evaporator coils work together to cool your home, their functions are very different. While the evaporator coil absorbs heat from the refrigerant, the condenser coils are where the heat that was taken out of your home is released.
Evaporator and condenser coils work together to produce cold air and finish the heat exchange cycle. Without both sets of coils, the cooling process would be impossible to complete.

Is it possible to repair this?

If the evaporator coil is going to leak or frost over, it is unlikely that it can be repaired and must be replaced. But If the evaporator coil is only dirty, an HVAC professional may fix it without having to replace it.

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