Can I Clean My Air Conditioner’s Evaporator Coils Myself?
Can I Clean My Air Conditioner’s Evaporator Coils Myself?

Keeping an air conditioner in good running shape is important. Regular maintenance and cleaning can prevent increased electricity bills and damage to the air conditioner. When an air conditioner’s coils become dirty, they will need to be cleaned. Can they be cleaned yourself though? Find out below.

What Are Evaporator Coils?

To better understand how to clean evaporator coils, it is important to know exactly what they are in an air conditioner. The coils in an air conditioner look like a set of small pipes. These evaporator coils are inside of the air conditioner. They are usually very easy to spot once the air conditioner has been unbolted and opened.

To get a clear visual on an air conditioner’s evaporator coils, check out more information at Lennox.

Why Do Evaporator Coils Need to Be Cleaned?

Smith Heating and A/C Service, the best HVAC repair in Athens, GA, notes that if the evaporator coils are not cleaned regularly, serious issues can arise that result in an expensive fix. Over time the evaporator coils will become clogged and dirty. When this occurs the air conditioner will not be able to cool the home properly or may stop working altogether.

Here are some things that can occur when an air conditioners coils are not cleaned regularly:

  • Increases in electricity bills from overuse of the air conditioner.
  • Overheating of the air conditioner unit.
  • Water leaking from the air conditioner unit. This will be different from the normal drainage that occurs due to condensation from the air conditioner. This water can actually flood the home.

Are There Any Signs That the Evaporator Coils Are Clogged?

There are certainly some signs that can be found when the air conditioners evaporator coils become clogged. When these signs are noticed, a professional should be called to come out and take a look at the air conditioner to diagnose the issue. Not all of these signs mean that the air conditioners evaporator coils are clogged, but it is very likely if you notice them.

Here are some of the signs that the evaporator coils in an air conditioner have become clogged:

  • The electricity bill has gone up. While this can be due to other factors, it may be a sign that the evaporator coils in the air conditioner have become clogged. See if any of the other signs are involved as well.
  • The air conditioner is not cooling the home like it used to. If there is a difference in how well the air conditioner cools the home, then this may be a sign that the air conditioners evaporator coils need to be cleaned.
  • The compressor is overworked.

While all of these signs could be due to other issues, it is important to call a professional out to do an evaluation of the air conditioner to rule out any other issues. Sometimes electric utility providers can pinpoint what is using most of the energy in a home; however, they cannot diagnose an actual issue with the air conditioner or evaporator coils.

This YouTube video can provide more information on identifying issues that can come with having clogged evaporator coils in an air conditioner unit.

Is It Possible to Clean the Evaporator Coils Yourself?

While this is absolutely possible, it is not recommended in the least. The reason is that the evaporator coils can be very difficult to get to. This will involve taking apart the entire air conditioner unit just to get to the evaporator coils. There are a lot of parts that will need to be handled carefully and then put back together carefully.

Even if taking an air conditioner apart is a skill that one can do, it should still be avoided. There can be serious consequences from little mistakes. Also, there is a risk of electrical shock when opening and working inside an air conditioner also. Not only is the air conditioner at risk of not being able to work once taken apart, it can be dangerous to the person performing the task too.

Information on shock hazards when handling an air conditioner can be found at EC&M.

There Are Other Reasons to Hire a Professional

If the reasons above are not enough to hire a professional instead of cleaning the evaporator coils on the air conditioner yourself, there is more. With an air conditioner being a very important appliance, it is important for it to be running well. A professional can check the entire system at once while checking the evaporator coils.

By having a professional do an inspection, a complete service can be provided. Other issues can be noticed before they cause further damage. It is important to get a regular inspection done on an air conditioner. In the long run, it will save time as well as money.