Where does the actual “cooling” in an air conditioner occur? It happens along the surface and fins of the evaporator coil, located in the indoor cabinet of the air conditioner—which is also known as the (surprise) evaporator. Warm air drawn through the return air ducts by a blower fan passed over the coil, and the cold refrigerant moving through the coil evaporates. This draws heat from the air (as well as moisture), lowering the temperature of the air. The air continues into the ventilation system and then to the various rooms around the house.
It’s important for an the evaporator coil and fins to have a clean surface. During regular air conditioning maintenance, HVAC technicians always make a check of the coil and fins to see if they are developing dirt and grime across their surfaces. If they are, the technicians clean off the dirt so the air conditioner will work at its best during the summer.
Why is a dirty evaporator coil a problem?
Any layer of dirt or grime over the coil and fins of the evaporator will trigger multiple problems:
- Drop in cooling efficiency: Dirt along a coil creates a layer of insulation between the air and the refrigerant in the coil. This makes it much harder for the refrigerant to absorb heat from the air, and this will result in a rise in temperatures. An air conditioner won’t be able to handle the cooling expected from it with a dirty coil.
- Development of ice on the coil: If the restriction of heat absorption along the coil becomes restricted enough, the refrigerant in it won’t warm up past freezing. Water moisture along the coil will then freeze. This ice further impedes the evaporator coil from doing its job. The ice will continue to build-up until heat absorption is completely blocked. The ice can also cause damage to the fins and coil from warping.
- Clogged condensate drain: As the evaporator coil absorbs heat, it also causes moisture to condense along it. This excess water drips down from the coil and into a pan, where a drain removes it into the wastewater system. But if the water dripping from the coil contains dirt, this will become lodged in the drain, eventually creating a complete clog. Water will overflow from the condensate drain, creating water damage, high humidity, unpleasant moldy odors, and even health hazards from toxic mold spores.
Call professionals to clean a dirty evaporator coil
When you have trouble with a dirty evaporator coil in your air conditioning system, do not attempt to clean it off on your own. Proper cleaning of a coil requires special chemicals. And cleaning the coil may be only the beginning of service; professionals may need to fix a deeper problem with the AC or repair issues that have started because of the coil, such as cleaning out a dirty condensate drain.
For quality air conditioning repairs in Stonewall, LA, contact us. We’re here 24 hours a day when you need emergency service.
Call the Doctor of Home Comfort: Hall’s Heating, Air Conditioning & Refrigeration serves Shreveport and the surrounding areas.