How to Clean Your HVAC Air Coils

It’s coming up on summer in Aiken, and that means your air conditioner might choose to go on the fritz on the hottest day of the year. But you can short-circuit its evil plan by doing some simple maintenance before then.

Let’s face it: We depend on our air conditioning here in the South, and our air conditioners depend on their evaporator coils, the refrigerant-filled component that absorbs hot air from inside the house and cools it down before delivering it back where it came from. It’s vital to the efficient function of the air conditioning that the coils be cleaned and maintained in good condition.

Why does it matter if the coils are dirty? The more surface area covered in dust, grime, and dirt, the less available for heat exchange. This creates more work for the AC and less cool air for you. You’re getting shortchanged on money and comfort, and sooner or later, the AC could break down from the strain.

It’s generally recommended that the coils be cleaned annually, usually in the spring. That way, they’re in peak condition, and come the fires of hell, or as we like to call them here, summer. The last thing you want is the AC to seize up in the middle of a heat wave, which is pretty much any day between May and October in the Midlands.

Cleaning out HVAC air coils with a pressure washer

The process begins with the most challenging step: finding the coils! The coils in most indoor units are hidden behind an access panel that can be removed. 

Once you locate the coils: 

  1. Turn off the power to the AC unit at the circuit breaker. Failing to do so could result in a shocking experience.
  2. Take your brush and/or a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment and gently clean the coils of dirt and debris. Be careful not to bend or dent the coils.
  3. Cleanse the coils with foam cleaner. Most quality store-bought cleaners are dry and make less of a mess. Use the brush to spread whatever cleaning agent you employ.
  4. Check the drip pan below the coils and remove any dirt from that. 
  5. Clean up, especially if you’ve used a liquid solution.
  6. Once you’ve ensured the coils are dry, fire up the circuit breaker again so the AC can work its magic. 

Of course, not everyone is inclined to do AC maintenance themselves, especially if this task seems daunting. For that, the experts at Holley Heating and Air stand ready to help. One advantage of asking experts to do preventative maintenance is that they can do a full inspection of the unit and recommend any other repairs necessary for reliable function.

If you’re kind to your air conditioning, it will pay you back all summer.

At Holley Heating & Air Conditioning, your comfort is our #1 concern. Air conditioning system maintenance is the key to keeping your system up and running efficiently and cost-effectively. You can trust our experienced team to keep your system running smoothly in all seasons. Call us to schedule an appointment today.