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Spring is here, and that means it’s only a matter of time before the temperatures begin to rise, the humidity begins to swell, and you find yourself dealing with the heat and humidity of summer. That means it’s nearly time to fire up your air conditioner in order to stay cool and comfortable in your home. However, if you haven’t maintained your air conditioner or had your coils cleaned, your summer may not be as comfortable as it should be.

Coil cleaning is an extremely important maintenance service, and one which you absolutely should not ignore. It generally only takes a few hours to complete, but the investment could be well worth it when you consider the benefits: you’ll save money on energy bills, your system will last longer, and you’ll be less likely to experience a serious breakdown in the middle of summer. On this blog, we’ll take a closer look at why you should have your coils cleaned at least once a year.

Limiting Heat Transfer

Your air conditioner depends on the ability of your coils to transfer heat in the most efficient manner possible, and the only way they can do this is if they’re perfectly clean. However, by nature your coils will be exposed to dust, dirt, and other debris in the air. This debris in turn can stick to your coils, acting as a sort-of blanket which insulates the coil and prevents it from transferring heat as well as it should.

Let’s look at how this affects your coils. For your outdoor coil, the air is pulled directly over it from the surrounding atmosphere—no protection or screening whatsoever. So all of the dust and dirt in the air is pulled over you coil, which prevents it from being able to expel the heat obtained from inside your home. As a result, your system will have longer cycle times, and it’ll take far longer for your home to feel comfortable.

For your indoor coil, the opposite is true. Your indoor coil is protected by your air filter, and all of the air that your system pulls over it should already be strained by your air filter. However, your air filter is not impervious, and some dirt and dust can still sneak through. Likewise, dirt and dust can get into your system through gaps or holes in your system’s cover, which isn’t uncommon. Your indoor coil is responsible for absorbing heat out of the air that’s pushed over it by your blower fan. This makes the air coming from your air conditioner feel warmer, and could even place added strain on important parts like your blower fan and motor.

How to Keep Your Coil Clean

Having your coil professionally cleaned can not only make your system more effective, but also more efficient. However, once it is clean, there are several things you can do to keep it that way. For your indoor coil, the first thing you should do is regularly check and replace your air filter as necessary. A dirty air filter restricts airflow over the coil, resulting in inefficiency and wear and tear on your system. It could also result in your air conditioner freezing over if the problem gets bad enough. You should also have a professional inspect your system to make sure there are no gaps or air leaks in your indoor unit in order to make sure any air getting into the system is being pulled through the air filter first for best results.

For your outdoor coil, there’s no filter to protect it or keep the dirt and dust away. This is fine, but there are some things you can do to make sure it works at its best at all times. First, visually inspect the cooling fins on your outdoor system for damage or blockages. It’s not uncommon to find bent or dented fins, or fins which have become jammed or clogged by leaves, dirt, and other debris getting sucked in. Use a tool known as a fin comb to straighten them out of you spot them. Second, keep the area around your outdoor unit clean. This means sweeping away any dirt buildup around your outdoor unit, raking or sweeping away leaves, and keeping any nearby grass cut short. Cut any plants that are around your outdoor unit back to a radius of at least three feet as well for optimal airflow.

Schedule your coil cleaning service by calling the Sterling HVAC experts at Donmar Heating, Cooling & Plumbing today at (703) 457-8676!

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