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AC Coil Cleaning Mistakes to Avoid

AC Coil Cleaning Mistakes to Avoid

Cleaning air conditioner coils can prevent various problems, but any mistakes can cause serious damage. Your AC coils circulate refrigerant to absorb or release heat. If they’re damaged, the system cannot work properly or efficiently. Here are some AC coil cleaning mistakes you should avoid so there are no costly AC maintenance or repair issues to deal with.

Not Turning Off Your Air Conditioner

Turn off the power before you start. Cleaning AC coils requires opening the outer casing of the condenser unit. If the system isn’t shut off, you can be hurt by a moving part or shocked if an electrical current is passing through a component. Also, any cleaning steps you take can damage a running unit.

Using the Wrong Cleaning Solution

There are specific cleaning solutions that remove dirt and grime from evaporator coils or condenser coils. Read the label before starting to ensure you’re using the right solution. Avoid using acid-based cleaners indoors, and never mix different brands of cleaners.

Not Having the Right Equipment

Some people say to use a dull knife to clear debris if you don’t have anything else to use. This is not the best idea. A coil comb or fin comb is easy to find at a home improvement store. It’s specifically designed to help clean AC coils. An AC coil-cleaning brush can be used for hard-to-reach areas.

Not Wearing Protective Safety Equipment

Always wear gloves and protective eyewear. Some solutions contain cleaning chemicals it’s best to avoid exposure to. These chemicals may have been approved by the manufacturer but can cause skin and eye irritation. You also don’t want any dirt or debris in your eyes or to get cut by any sharp components.

Not Letting the Cleaner Sit Long Enough

An AC coil cleaner must usually sit for 5 to 10 minutes. This allows it to foam and break up accumulated dust and debris. Washing it off too soon can prevent the coil from getting clean enough. This defeats the purpose of putting the time and effort into cleaning your AC unit.

Setting a Hose on High Pressure

If hosing down your AC coils, run the hose on a light setting. A garden hose will help rinse off any foam or other cleaning solution if the product label suggests doing so. High-pressure water can damage coil fins and break sensitive parts. Also, make a note of the wind direction and spray the hose downwind. Otherwise, you could cause misting, and debris or chemicals can be blown toward you.

Not Being Careful with Compressed Air

Compressed air may seem like a good way to dust off a condenser coil. Avoid using it for evaporator coils because it can blow dust into your home. When applying compressed air, blow it in the opposite direction as the airflow and place the nozzle facing the side that needs more cleaning. Avoid blowing air into ductwork and if you need higher-pressure air, use a 90° angle or aim directly at the fins so they don’t bend.

Leaving Debris Inside the Unit

Thoroughly clean leaves, twigs, soil, and other debris from the unit. These can cause the coil to get dirty faster and work less efficiently. They can also get moved around inside the unit, causing damage to AC coils, fans, circuits, or electrical connections. All debris should be removed by hand or, if necessary, by a vacuum. 

Turning on the AC Too Soon

Wait at least 30 to 60 minutes for the unit to dry. Water and dampness can interfere with the unit’s operation and cause electrical components to short circuit.

Call Waldrop for a Professional AC Coil Cleaning

Dirty coils can decrease cooling capacity, cause ice to build up, and increase wear and tear. They can also lead to decreased comfort and higher energy consumption. At Waldrop, we provide comprehensive AC maintenance services that include AC coil cleaning and system tune-ups. To request service, choose a day and time online or call (864) 536-0887.

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