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Hometown Heating and Air Conditioning Blog

What Happens When Your AC’s Coils Get Dirty


As summer temperatures rise, your air conditioning becomes an essential part of your home, providing cool and comfortable indoor air. However, many homeowners overlook one crucial aspect of AC maintenance: keeping the refrigerant coils clean. At Hometown Heating and Air Conditioning, we’ve seen the consequences of neglecting this simple task. Let’s dive into what happens when your AC’s coils get dirty and how you can prevent these issues from happening.

Understanding the Role of AC Coils

Your air conditioner has two types of coils: evaporator coils and condenser coils. These coils are vital for the cooling process. The evaporator coils, located inside your home, absorb heat from the indoor air. The condenser coils, situated outside, release that absorbed heat into the outdoor air. Clean coils are essential for efficient heat exchange and smooth operation of your AC unit.

The Consequences of Dirty AC Coils

Reduced Efficiency

When coils become coated with dirt, dust, and grime, it hinders their ability to absorb and release heat effectively. This forces your AC unit to work harder, consuming more energy to maintain the desired indoor temperature. As a result, you’ll notice a spike in your energy bills.

Decreased Cooling Capacity

Dirty coils can significantly reduce the cooling capacity of your air conditioner. With impaired heat exchange, the system struggles to cool your home adequately. You might find certain rooms are not as cool as they should be, leading to discomfort during the hottest months.

Increased Wear and Tear

When your AC unit has to work harder due to dirty coils, it puts extra strain on the system. This increased workload accelerates wear and tear, potentially leading to more frequent breakdowns and a shorter lifespan for your AC unit. Regular maintenance, including coil cleaning, can help extend the life of your system.

Ice Formation on Evaporator Coils

Dirty evaporator coils can lead to ice formation. When the coils can’t absorb heat properly, the refrigerant inside the coils can become too cold, causing moisture in the air to freeze on the coils. This ice buildup further reduces the system’s efficiency and can lead to a complete AC shutdown if not addressed promptly.

Preventing Dirty Coils: Best Practices

Regular Maintenance

Schedule regular maintenance with Hometown Heating and Air Conditioning. Our professional technicians will inspect and clean your AC coils, ensuring they remain free of debris and function optimally. We recommend an annual maintenance check before the start of the cooling season.

Change Air Filters

Regularly changing your air filters can help reduce the amount of dirt and dust that reaches the coils. A clogged filter can allow contaminants to bypass the filter and settle on the coils. Depending on your system and usage, change the filters every 1–3 months.

Keep the Area Around the Outdoor Unit Clean

Ensure the area around your outdoor condenser unit is free of debris, plants, and other obstructions. This allows for proper airflow and reduces the chance of dirt and debris being drawn into the unit.

Why Professional Coil Cleaning Is Essential

While some homeowners might be tempted to clean the coils themselves, it’s a task best left to professionals. DIY coil cleaning can be risky and potentially cause more harm than good. Our technicians have the expertise and specialized equipment to clean the coils safely and effectively. 

At Hometown Heating and Air Conditioning, we’re committed to keeping your air conditioning in Brentwood running smoothly and efficiently. Contact us today to schedule your maintenance appointment and ensure your home stays cool and comfortable all summer long.

At Hometown Heating and Air Conditioning, Your Comfort Is Our Business! Call us whenever you need AC repair service. 

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