If your home feels hot and humid, you may wonder if your air conditioning system needs servicing. An air conditioning system cools down your home by reducing the humidity levels in it. If your indoor unit's evaporator coil clogs up with dust, it can't carry out this necessary function. Instead, your home stays hot, humid, and uncomfortable. If you clean the evaporator coil, you may be able to make your house feel more comfortable. Here's what you do:
Fill Up Your Cleaning Bucket
You'll need to clean the evaporator coil and its housing during this job. First, turn off your cooling system at the thermostat and circuit breaker, then follow the steps below:
- Fill a plastic spray bottle with warm water.
- Fill a large utility bucket with cool water.
- Add 1 to 2 teaspoons of mild dish detergent to the water, then use a large spoon to mix the ingredients. Place the bucket aside for later use.
- Cover the flooring beneath the indoor unit with a water-absorbent cloth.
- Remove the metal paneling from over the evaporator coil. If the panel doesn't pop off easily by hand, use a screwdriver to remove it.
Now, you're ready to work on the coil.
Clean and Dry the Evaporator Coil
Before you begin, remove and empty the coil's drainage pan. The pan sits at the base of the coil. Using your spray bottle, gently clean the surface of the coil and the fine metal pieces covering it. These metal pieces are called fins. Fins allow air to circulate through and around the coil during operation. If the fins fill up with debris or bend from pressure, they can prevent air from moving through the coil.
You can use a soft-bristled toothbrush to straighten out the fins. However, don't apply any unnecessary force on the fins. If the pieces refuse to straighten out, contact an HVAC technician for assistance. If you manage to straighten the fins without any problems, you may continue with the cleaning.
Allow the evaporator coil and its fins to dry thoroughly. You can complete the cleaning by wiping down the surfaces of the evaporator coil's housing. Dip a large rag into your bucket of water, then gently clean out the housing. Repeat this step until the housing is free of dust. Use a separate rag dry the housing.
Place the panel over the evaporator coil, then turn on your cooling system. If your home still feels humid and hot after several minutes or so, contact an HVAC technician for additional help.