What Happens If My AC Coils Are Dirty?
Have you noticed that your air conditioner isn’t cooling as efficiently as it used to? Has it frozen recently? The cause may be dirty AC coils, which are common and can lead to several problems with the air conditioner. Let’s talk about the importance of your air conditioner’s coils and what happens if they get dirty.
What are AC Coils?
There are two types of coils in an AC system, both working to cool the air in your home. Cool refrigerant is pulled through the evaporator coils, allowing it to absorb heat from the air around it. Then the refrigerant travels to the condenser coils outside, where the heat is released into the air. This is how your AC works: the coils remove heat from inside your home and dump it outside.
Since both of these coils are prone to buildup, they can get dirty without regular AC maintenance. This can result in several different problems with your AC:
When the coils on an air conditioner are dirty, the buildup on the coils becomes a barrier between the air and the refrigerant. Because of this, the refrigerant won’t properly absorb the heat or release it as it runs through the coils. As a result, the air coming from the vents won’t be as cool as it should be. You may notice the difference over time.
Constant Cooling Cycles
Stemming from the insufficient cooling issue, dirty coils may also cause your AC to run for long periods of time or very often. The thermostat monitors temperatures inside your house and turns the AC on to return the air to its current temperature setting. When the coils are dirty, the thermostat will tell the AC to run almost constantly because the system is inefficiently cooling your home. This can shorten the life of your AC by putting too much strain on the system, especially if the problem goes unchecked.
The most serious issue caused by dirty AC coils is that the coil itself can freeze. This happens when the buildup on the evaporator coil blocks enough heat for condensation to gather on the coil instead of dripping off like it usually does. The refrigerant won’t be able to absorb heat and will eventually freeze the accumulated condensation, causing the air conditioner to break down.
Dirty coils can cause a lot of problems, but they’re easy to avoid. Remember to change your air filters every few months to keep dirt and dust out of your AC system, and get an AC tune-up twice a year. The technician will know how to recognize buildup on your air conditioner’s coils and clean it for you.