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  • Ashley Simpson

The Top Coil Cleaning Methods in the HVAC Industry

Air conditioning units have two types of coils; condenser and evaporator coils. The evaporator coil is found within the air handler and is responsible for cooling the air blown across it into your home. On the other hand, the condenser coil is usually located outdoors within the compressor portion of your AC unit. The job of the condenser coil is to ensure that the refrigerant is cooled down and condensed back to its liquid form.


The coil that mostly suffers from the accumulation of dirt and debris is the evaporator coil. This is because the coil comes into contact with the dusty and warm air outside. As this air repeatedly flows over the coil, it leaves behind dust and dirt. When thick layers of debris build on the coil, it can make it develop icing problems or even destroy the compressor outdoors.

Blocked evaporator coils can cause the compressor to run at temperatures above normal, breaking down lubricants within the system. Thus it is important to ensure the coil is cleaned regularly.


Thorough cleaning of the cooling coil may require refrigerant lines to be cut, the coil removed, and other components so that they can be cleaned in isolation and then reinstalled. Such a process may be too costly to be undertaken by the average homeowner or regularly. There are much simpler cleaning methods such as:

Compressed Air Method

Blowing off the evaporator coil with compressed air is one of the effective and quick methods for cleaning the coil. The air is sprayed from the cleaner side of the evaporator coil towards the dusty or dirty side. This prevents dirt and debris from getting trapped in the coil fins. To avoid bending the fins, you should blow air straight through or at right angles to the coil fins.

The main drawback of this method is that it requires extra care so that the dust and debris do not end up in your indoor space.

Brush Cleaning

If the coil has a fair coating of debris and dust, it can be cleaned successfully with a soft bristle brush. Cleaning your coil once every 3 or 4 months can significantly reduce your cooling costs and eliminate the need for more costly cleaning procedures. Depending on the positioning and the degree of dust in your surroundings, you may not necessarily have to clean your coil regularly. Again, you should be careful so that the coil fins are not damaged.


Both alkaline and acid-based chemical solutions are explicitly formulated for coil cleaning. Avoid using strong chemicals when cleaning your AC coil because this can cause erosion and damage to the coil.

Various foaming coil cleaners in the market can gently lift the debris and layers of contamination without damaging the coil system.

When hiring an AC technician, ensure they have the necessary experience. Where possible, they should share their references with you before approving them for the project.

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