How To Clean Your Evaporator Coils

Functionality of your heat pump is very dependent on several components. One of the most central components of the entire HVAC system is the evaporator unit. Every system will have an evaporator coil which is an essential transfer device that drives the heating and air conditioning systems.  This is why it is so important to make sure your evaporator coil's are in top, working order at all times. This article explains how to check and clean your evaporator coils.

Finding the Evaporator Unit

The first thing you need to do is identify where the evaporator coils are. The coils are usually in a unit that is attached to or next to the heat pump. Most commonly, it is in a separate sheet metal cabinet attached to the top of the furnace. You will probably need to remove the access door to even see the evaporator. Some units will have a vented access door, so you can see without removing the door. When you identify which access door leads to the evaporator, you can remove it with a screwdriver.

Cleaning the Evaporator Unit

Before you start to actually work on the evaporator, you need to make sure the power is cut. There is not plug, so you will need to turn it off at the breaker box. Once you open the access door you should see the coils, which are stacked in the shape of a triangle. There is usually very limited space within the dark space and you will need a flashlight. Look for dust, dirt, mold or animal droppings. A simple hose vacuum will allow you to clean out much of the compartment. A wet rag will also be helpful for rubbing off stubborn grime. In the worst case scenario can use a wire brush to clean and polish the coils. Of course, the coils don't need to be sparkly clean, but any dirt on the surface can ultimately hamper the heat transfer and make your entire heating and air conditioning unit less energy efficient.

When you are done cleaning your evaporator unit, you can reattach the access doors and then turn the power back on. You might not immediately notice the huge amount of increased airflow when you are running your air conditioner or heater, but you should start to enjoy the benefits when you see your monthly bill. A clean evaporator unit will also use electricity and results in a more efficient HVAC system.