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Your Air Conditioner: Oh, The Trouble a Dirty Evaporator Coil Can Cause

Posted on August 22, 2013

During Wichita’s hot, muggy summers, you want as much heat removed from your home as possible. That is largely the job of the evaporator coil in your air conditioner. The hot air passes over the coil. The heat is removed, and the cool air is delivered to the  various rooms in your home. This cooled air is what you feel at the supply registers. A dirty air conditioner evaporator coil is a costly problem that can be easily prevented.

Problems a dirty evaporator coil can cause

  • Less cooling efficiency: A dirt buildup on an evaporator coil inhibits maximum heat transfer. Your air conditioner has to work harder and consume more energy to keep your home at the comfortable temperature that you want. Units with a dirty evaporator coil have a significantly reduced cooling capacity.
  • Poor indoor air qualityThe evaporator coil, by its very nature, collects condensation. A buildup of dust and other contaminates becomes a nasty sludge and an ideal breeding ground for mold and bacteria. These contaminates are then introduced to the rooms of your home via the supply registers.
  • Restricted airflow: As dirt and other contaminates build up, less air can circulate, and your compressor becomes stressed.
  • System failure: Ultimately, the evaporator coil can freeze up, causing the compressor to fail.

How to prevent a dirt buildup on the evaporator coil 

  • Make sure you are using the correct air filter, and change it as recommended.
  • Have your system serviced semi-annually. Cleaning the evaporator coil is a routine part of annual A/C maintenance.
  • Have a your HVAC-system specialist inspect your duct system and conduct a complete airflow analysis if you suspect a more serious problem. Leaky ducts can allow dirt into your system, but improper airflow can cause problems, too.

Keeping your evaporator coil clean is just one aspect of regular air-conditioner maintenance. For other ways to make your air conditioner work efficiently and last longer, contact Comfort Systems. We have been serving Wichita homeowners since 1958.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Wichita, Kansas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about air conditioners and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

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