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Washing AC Coils With Water vs. Coil Cleaner

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Most homeowners know it’s important to change the air filters in their home’s air conditioning system, a simple AC maintenance task that can lower the unit’s energy consumption by 5 to 15%. But did you know that cleaning the AC coils is also one of the most helpful things you can do for your air conditioner?

Systems with clean coils cool better and run less, saving you money, increasing equipment longevity, and improving efficiency by up to 30%. You have two main options for cleaning your AC coils: water or chemicals. Each method has pros and cons, but the result is the same.

Washing AC Coils With Water vs. Chemical Coil Cleaner

Ensuring your AC runs smoothly can improve your home’s comfort and utility bills.

Using water to wash your coils is gentle on the system and kind to the planet. While it’s the safer and more environmentally friendly route, it might not remove stubborn grime.

Chemical coil cleaners are highly effective against tough buildup, ensuring your unit performs at its best. Remember that when working with these chemicals, there’s always a potential for them to harm people and objects.

Recommendations differ, but a once-yearly deep clean is usually fine for most AC units. Consider twice-yearly cleanings if you have pets or live in a high-pollution area.

Coil Cleaning Alternatives

If you like the idea of water-based coil cleaning but it’s not getting the coils as clean as you like, try adding a bit of dish detergent to the mix. This mild cleaning agent is readily available and ensures you aren’t introducing harsh chemicals into your home environment.

One drawback is that it might not be effective on particularly stubborn buildup, so you might need to repeat the process twice or more or apply some extra elbow grease to get the desired results.

Side view of an outdoor energy unit hanging on the brick wall of a house on a sunny day

Put Your Trust in a Professional

Cleaning air conditioner coils isn’t necessarily difficult, but it helps if you’re comfortable working around the system. Safety and preparation are key.

You’ll need your chosen coil cleaner, a soft-bristle brush, a reversible hex chuck, and an impact driver or set of SAE nut drivers.

  • Disconnect the power to ensure a safe work environment.
  • Remove the AC cover (and possibly the fan) to access the coils.
  • Carefully wash the coils.
  • Thoroughly rinse and allow the coils to dry.
  • Reassemble and test the AC unit to ensure everything runs smoothly.

HVAC technician performing AC tune up

Do you not feel confident about one or more of the steps involved in cleaning your coils? No worries! Having a company like Service Professor manage your job is often wiser and more cost-efficient.

Our expertise in AC maintenance and coil cleaning is unmatched, backed by years of experience and a team of certified professionals. We use the latest techniques and tools to ensure your system is clean and operating at peak efficiency, enhancing comfort and prolonging the lifespan of your unit.

Founded in 1978, award-winning Service Professor is one of West Michigan’s largest home service repair companies. Our upfront pricing, background-checked technicians, and MVP Home Protection Plan make us a top choice for HVAC, plumbing, electrical, drain, and sewer services for homeowners in Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Lansing, and the surrounding areas.

Do you need to have your AC equipment replaced? We offer free estimates on replacement quotes, convenient financing options, and military, veteran, and senior discounts.

If you’re ready for instant relief from AC grief, contact Service Professor to schedule coil cleaning or any other HVAC maintenance services.

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