Your outdoor HVAC unit accumulates dirt and grime over time. This dirt can then work its way into your HVAC coils, which lowers the system’s efficiency. The more dirt that accumulates, the less efficient it becomes. That’s why it’s so important to keep your HVAC coils clean and well maintained.

How HVAC Coils Get Dirty

Dirt enters your HVAC system in several ways. The dust around the outdoor unit can kick up and coat the coils. Additionally, pollutants from the air can get into the system. If you live on a busy street with a lot of traffic, this may include car exhaust. Some contaminants can also come from inside your house. Dust, pet hair, and skin cells that are in your home’s air get recirculated through the system and coat your coils.

The damage done by these contaminants is greater than you think. Even 1/100th of an inch of dust on your HVAC coils can interfere with its cooling. The less efficiently your coils are able to cool, the more energy the system uses — and the higher your bills are.

Maintaining Your HVAC Coils

To keep dirt at bay, your coils need to be cleaned periodically. You can attempt the job yourself, but if you’re not experienced, you risk damaging the unit or even causing electrical problems. It’s better to let your HVAC technician perform the cleaning during your annual maintenance visit.

On average, having your coils cleaned once a year is fine. However, if dirt accumulates too quickly, they may need to be cleaned more often. To keep the dirt to a minimum, be sure to change your filter regularly so contaminants from your air don’t enter the system. Repair any damaged ductwork as well, as unfiltered air can enter the system that way.

Finally, maintain at least 2 feet of clearance on all sides of your outdoor unit, to maintain airflow. Keep the area free of grass, twigs, branches, and other debris that can block the coils.

For more help keeping your HVAC coils clean, contact us at Mowery Heating, Cooling and Plumbing. We’re Indianapolis’ trusted source for quality home-comfort solutions.

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