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Dirty AC Coils Are Big Trouble

Monday, June 11th, 2018 at 11:00 am

AC-unit-on-leavesThere are those parts of an air conditioning system that pretty much any homeowner will be able to point at and name. The thermostat, for instance, or the vent on the wall that cool air from the duct enters the room through. Fewer homeowners may be familiar with the term “air conditioner coils,” which is too bad. If you fail to act when your air conditioner’s coils get too dirty, it’s an oversight that can lead to some serious problems.

Today, we are going to fill you in on precisely why dirty air conditioning coils are such a big problem. Once you’ve reviewed this information, we’re certain that you’ll start to see the big picture. It may not happen immediately, but forcing an air conditioner to function with dirty coils can and will lead to the need for air conditioning repair in Fresno, CA eventually. When that happens, you’ll be on the hook for the bill, and you’ll be uncomfortable until the problem is resolved.

What and Where Are These “Coils” of Which You Speak?

Your air conditioner has two coils. The evaporator coil is the coil located in your indoor AC unit. The outdoor unit has its own coil: the condenser coil. Where do these names originate from? Glad you asked.

The evaporator coil is, fittingly enough, is at the point where the refrigerant in your air conditioning system evaporates. This allows it to remove heat from the air surrounding the coil, and that cooled air is then distributed throughout the house via the ducts.

The heat has to be released in order to complete the cycle. That happens as the refrigerant is condensed in the condenser coil, which is located in the outdoor unit. In order to function properly, these coils (and the fins on the outdoor unit’s casing) must be kept clean.

What’s the Big Deal with Dirty Coils?

Insulation, that’s what. Insulation can be a very good thing. That’s why your home and your air ducts are insulated. Preventing unwanted heat transfer is important—and that’s the important distinction. The heat transfer taking place with your air conditioning system is not unwanted. That’s the whole point!

If dust and dirt build up on the evaporator coil, it’s going to be tough for the refrigerant evaporated in that coil to remove heat from the air effectively. That, in turn, can lead to the coil getting too cold. And that can lead to condensation on the coil freezing up, creating a layer of ice that only serves as more insulation and, thus, exacerbates the problem. The system can overheat, suffering unnecessary wear and tear, leading to efficiency loss and the potential need for repairs.

When the outdoor coil, the condenser coil, is dirty, it is actually difficult for the system to release its heat in order to continue the cooling process. Remember, the air outside is also hot, so you are already facing the challenge of releasing heat into a warm environment. Keeping the coils clean, and the fins on the outdoor unit, is integral in helping your AC to succeed.

Schedule your AC repairs with California Indoor Comfort Inc., where comfort and technology come together.

 

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