Clean Your HVAC Evaporator Coils Like This

How Often Should Evaporator Coils Be Cleaned?

To keep your HVAC unit efficient, you must ensure that its coils are properly maintained. AC coils, including evaporator coils, accumulate dirt, dust, and other debris, affecting the machine’s overall performance.

Minimize utility costs and energy usage by checking your AC coils from time to time.

How often should evaporator coils be cleaned? You should clean the evaporator coils of your HVAC unit at least once yearly. This helps to lengthen the life of your AC and save money on maintenance costs and skyrocketing electricity consumption.

Below are some of the tools you can use to clean evaporator coils and why you should clean them. Let’s get right into it.

Why Is Cleaning Evaporator Coils Important?

As mentioned earlier, cleaning the evaporator coils of your air conditioning unit will allow you to enjoy cool, clean air at home without paying a skyrocketing electric bill.

Aside from that, it will save you from unnecessary utility costs that will never end if you don’t learn how and how often to clean your AC’s evaporator coils.

When the evaporator coils are dirty, the dirt they accumulate makes it harder for the machine to generate heat.

As a result, the water in it turns into ice, freezing the coil. If this occurs, it might ruin the entire air conditioning unit, causing stress and leading to unexpected expenses.

Based on a study conducted by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers, you might be able to save from 10 to 25 percent of your HVAC unit’s average operating cost just by cleaning both sets of coils yearly.

Simply put, you can save as much as $436 every year by keeping the evaporator coils clean.

Skipping this part of your AC maintenance can also cause other problems, such as:

  • Overheating of compressor
  • Frozen evaporator coils
  • Poor cooling performance

But other than these detriments, it is more alarming to know that dirty evaporator coils can damage you and your family’s health.

Imagine that your air conditioner fills every room in your home with the air that has passed through a dirty evaporator coil.

If a member of your family experiences flu-like symptoms, asthma, allergy, or fatigue, it could be due to the mold present in your AC or ductwork.

While bacteria and mold won’t cause all these health detriments for everyone, it is undeniable that the smell is annoying and distracting. Most of all, people nowadays spend more time inside their homes than they did before.

Imagine breathing air with mold and bacteria the entire time you’re in your home because you failed to clean your AC’s evaporator coils once a year.                                                                                              

How to Clean the Evaporator Coils

If you are not a professional, it is best to hire an air conditioning contractor to do the cleaning. The reason is that the fins on the evaporator coils are very delicate, and can bend even with just a little force.

Also, depending on the air conditioning unit model, the evaporator is usually difficult to access. This is another reason to consider hiring a professional to do the job.

You can find the evaporator coil near or inside the air handler, where the blower fan is located. It is made of copper, aluminum, or steel, as these metals are great conductors of heat.

Usually, AC evaporators have tubes that are bent into U-shapes set into panels. Evaporator coils are where the cold air in your HVAC comes from.

Before cleaning the evaporator coils, the one who will do the task should ensure that it is not plugged into any power source. The process may also include the removal of large debris and rinsing it with a hose.

Aside from that, you may also use a homemade cleaning solution that consists of equal parts of white vinegar and water to clean air conditioner coils better. Make sure to place the solution in a spray bottle for easier usage.

For professionals, here are some of the tools you will need to clean HVAC evaporator coils:

1.   Garden Hose

This tool might already be available in your home, so you don’t need to spend money on a pressure washer. It helps wash away dirt from evaporator coils, but it is not as effective as a pressure washer.

You will need a spray nozzle attachment on your hose for added water pressure that allows for easier removal of caked dirt inside AC coils.

2.   Cleaner Tablets

These are foaming coil cleaner formulas that help to easily lift grime and dirt. They reduce the time spent on cleaning by making it easier to flush out dirt in the coils.

How Much Does It Cost to Clean Evaporator Coils?

The average cost of maintaining evaporator coils can range from $100 to $400. It might be higher than you expect, but the reason why it is pricey is that evaporator coils are hard to access.

In fact, they are located inside the air handler somewhere near your furnace. Those who own only an AC might see them inside the ductwork.

However, maintaining them is far cheaper than replacing your AC’s coils. The estimated cost of a new evaporator coil and its installation can range from $700 to $2700—not to mention that an unmaintained evaporator coil can destroy your entire HVAC unit.

How to Prevent Evaporator Coils From Accumulating Dirt

Cleaning the air filter at least monthly plays a vital role in preventing your coils from becoming dirty. For this reason, schedule a once-a-month check of your AC’s air filter and replace it if needed.

The reason why dirt reaches the evaporator coils is that the air filters are already full of it. To put it simply, a dirty air filter won’t do its job effectively.

To prevent dirt from accumulating in evaporator coils, ensure that the two-foot area surrounding the evaporator unit is free of trash, debris, plants, tall grass, vegetation, bushes, and overhanging trees.

You should remove huge debris because it might fall into the coils. Remember that when mowing, you will want to discharge clippings far from the condenser because there is a possibility that the air it sucks will carry some of the debris.


You should clean your HVAC unit’s evaporator coil at least once a year. This will allow you to save a lot of money by preventing unnecessary expenses, and it can make your HVAC unit last longer.

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