Maximizing the efficiency of your Air Conditioning (HVAC) system makes sense with the rising costs of energy. Both condenser (outdoor) and evaporator (indoor) coils are made to provide optimum heat transfer required for the area needing cooling. The air being transferred, in most cases, contains a mixture of dust, dirt, pollen, grease and moisture. These contaminants settle on the surface of the coil and impact the ability to transfer heat. They also affect the quality of the air within your home or building. The cost of operating dirty air conditioning equipment is greater than you might expect!
Equipment operating with dirty coils may use as much as 37 percent more energy than equipment with clean coils.
Restricted heat transfer causes the compressor to work harder, increasing the head pressure. Rising head pressure will result in a loss of cooling capacity of up to 30 percent. (Example: If our 4-ton system with a 30 percent loss is now only providing 2.8 tons of cooling). The system will cost more to operate and provide less cooling. This loss will be noticeable on the hottest days, when cooling is needed the most!
Higher operating pressures caused by a dirty coil may reduce your equipment’s life expectancy. The restriction of heat transfer and strain placed on the compressor can lead to equipment failure. Compressor failure means no cooling. Compressor replacement cost is out of sight compared to a cleaning! Caution: Do not judge the cleanliness of a coil by its visual appearance.
Air conditioning cooling coils provide moisture, cool temperature and food from dust; all which contribute to contamination growth which affects the cooling coil in the following ways:
- Reduced heat transfer. The contaminants on the coil surface act as an insulation media between the air and the cooling coil. The air flowing through the coil is not reduced in temperature adequately enough to allow the system to cool the building efficiently. Therefore, the compressor will run continuously to compensate for the poor temperature transfer. In a system where the air is cooling the building efficiently, the compressor will cycle in and out of service as required. Poor heat transfer results in poor energy savings.
- Blockages in the coil. This decreases the amount of air passing through the system. This in turn affects the air conditioner’s ability to cool the air. To compensate, the compressor is running at longer durations. Effective maintenance on the cooling coil provides cost savings in energy consumption.
- Corrosion of the coil. Contaminants attach themselves to the fins of the cooling coil. Over time, they become etched into the surface to provide a secure holding. This eats away at the cooling coil and over time degenerates the cooling coil’s ability to perform efficient heat transfer. The solution for coil corrosion is to remove contaminants through maintenance. The alternative is to replace the cooling coil, which comes at a greater cost than coil maintenance.
So you are asking what is the best way to keep my coils clean? The answer is to change or wash your filter like clock work every month. We wash our’s when we pay the electric bill. If you suspect your coil is dirty, call for a coil cleaning before the real heat sets in. It will save you money over the course of the summer. Be kind to your AC and it will be kind to you:)