If you have a central HVAC system, the evaporator coils in your furnace are vital to the operation of your air conditioner and heating. Most homeowners don't even know what evaporator coils are or how to fix them. In reality, the evaporator coils are easy to clean if you can reach them. The furnace is often in a confined space and the coils can be hard to reach. This article explains how to find and clean your furnace evaporator coils. This is an essential maintenance task that should be repeated every year or two.
Where are the Evaporator Coils?
Not to be confused with the condenser coils, the evaporator coils are typically inside the house and are part of the furnace. The condenser coils are on the outside of the house, they are part of the air conditioner. Both elements need to be functioning in order to heat and cool your home. The condenser coils are easier to clean because they can be sprayed off with a hose. The evaporator coils are copper and they are encased in aluminum. They will often be shaped like the letter A (this is why you may have heard the term A-Coil). The A-Coil is usually mounted at the top of the furnace and has its own compartment. To access to compartment, you will need to remove a small access panel. However, the panel should have vents, so you should be able to see inside and identify the A shape to confirm you are opening the right door.
Turn Off the Power and Gas
Before you do any work on your HVAC system make sure your thermostat is off. Then, cut the power to the air conditioning unit and the furnace. If you have a gas furnace, you should also shut off the gas to the furnace.
Cleaning the Evaporator Coils
To clean your coils you will probably need some wet rags, a vacuum and a small flashlight. Don't use any cleaning solutions or chemicals. Just use water. Wipe down the coils that you can reach and then use the hose attachment of your vacuum to reach deeper inside the coils.
Finally, you can put everything back together and do a test run. If you notice that your furnace operation seems improved, you may have fixed the problem. At the very least, you will have cleaned your coils and made sure that they are not the source of your HVAC problems. Talk to professionals, such as Comfort Heating & Air Conditioning, LLC, if you need further assistance.