The Importance of Cleaning Evaporator Coils in Your Air Conditioning System

The Importance of Cleaning Evaporator Coils in Your Air Conditioning System

Expert Tips from Drill & Hammer Abu Dhabi Team

When it comes to maintaining your air conditioning system, there are certain components that are often overlooked. One such component that is crucial to the efficiency and longevity of your system is the evaporator coils. These coils play a critical role in the cooling process of your HVAC system, and keeping them clean is essential for optimal performance.

In this blog post, we’ve turned to the experts at Drill & Hammer Abu Dhabi team for their top tips on how to DIY clean your AC coil.

Understanding the Role of Evaporator Coils

Before diving into the importance of cleaning evaporator coils, it’s important to understand their role in your air conditioning system. The primary function of evaporator coils is to capture heat from the air inside your home and transfer it outside via the condenser coil. This process allows the system to generate cool air and maintain a comfortable indoor temperature.

Evaporator coils are typically made of copper and are encased in aluminum fins to facilitate heat transfer. They can be found inside the indoor air handler unit or air handler enclosure of your HVAC system. These coils also play a crucial role in the dehumidification process of your system. As the coils become cooler, water condenses onto them and is removed from the air, helping to reduce humidity levels in your home.

The Consequences of Dirty Evaporator Coils

When evaporator coils become dirty and covered in dirt, dust, and other debris, several problems can arise. Firstly, dirty coils can significantly reduce the efficiency of your air conditioning system. The buildup of debris on the coils hinders airflow and heat transfer, making it harder for the system to cool the air effectively. This reduced efficiency can lead to increased energy consumption and higher utility bills.

Additionally, dirty evaporator coils can lead to other issues such as increased system wear, ice buildup on the coil resulting in a frozen evaporator coil, frozen refrigerant lines, reduced cooling capacity, lowered heat transfer, higher operating pressure, and higher temperatures. These problems not only affect the performance of your cooling system but can also lead to costly repairs and potential damage to the system.

Regular Cleaning for Optimal Performance

To ensure the optimal performance and longevity of your air conditioning system, it is crucial to clean the evaporator coils regularly. Deep cleaning of the coils should be performed at least once a year, ideally more frequently during peak usage months. The process of cleaning evaporator coils involves removing the access panel of the air handler unit to expose the coils.

Once the coils are accessible, there are several methods you can use to clean them. One effective method is to use a soft brush to wipe away the debris buildup on the coils. Be sure to use a brush that is gentle enough not to damage the fins. After brushing, you can use a soft cloth to further wipe away any remaining debris.

If you have access to an air compressor or a can of compressed air, you can use it to blow away debris from the coils. This method helps to dislodge stubborn dirt particles and improve airflow. Another option is to use self-cleaning spray foams specifically designed for evaporator coils. These foams can be found at your local home improvement store and should be safe to use with plastic drainage components.

For a more thorough cleaning, especially if your coils have not been cleaned in several years, it is recommended to seek the assistance of a professional HVAC technician. They have the knowledge and tools to perform heavy-duty cleaning, including steam and chemical cleaning. This deep cleaning process not only removes stubborn dirt and debris but also allows for complete system diagnostics, troubleshooting, and preventive maintenance.

DIY Maintenance Tips for Evaporator Coil Cleaning

While it is advisable to seek professional help for heavy-duty cleaning, there are some DIY maintenance tips you can follow to keep your evaporator coils clean in between professional cleanings. Here are a few methods you can try:

  1. Use a soft brush:
    A soft brush can be effective in removing light amounts of dirt from the coils. Brush gently to avoid damaging the fins and sweep away the dirt.

  2. Utilize compressed air:
    If the buildup of dirt on the coils is not heavy, you can use compressed air to blow away debris. Ensure the airflow is directed opposite the normal airflow across the evaporator coil.

  3. Use commercial cleaners:
    There are various commercial cleaners available specifically for cleaning evaporator coils. Follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer and allow the cleaner to sit and foam. Rinse off the foam and debris until the coils are clean.

  4. Water and mild detergent: If you prefer a more natural cleaning solution, you can mix warm water with a mild detergent. Spray the solution onto the coils and let it soak for a few minutes to loosen the debris. Wipe away any loosened debris with a soft cloth.

It’s important to note that heavy-duty cleaning, such as coil removal or cutting refrigerant lines, should be left to professionals. Attempting these tasks without proper knowledge and tools can lead to further damage and costly repairs.

Benefits of Regular Evaporator Coil Cleaning

Regular cleaning of your air conditioning system’s evaporator coils offers several benefits. Firstly, it improves the overall efficiency of your system, allowing it to cool your home more effectively while reducing energy consumption. This increased efficiency can lead to lower utility bills and save you money in the long run.

Clean evaporator coils also contribute to better indoor air quality. A buildup of dirt and debris on the coils can lead to the circulation of pollutants and allergens in your home. By keeping the coils clean, you can ensure that the air circulating in your home is clean and healthy.

Additionally, regular cleaning and maintenance of evaporator coils can extend the lifespan of your air conditioning system. By preventing the accumulation of dirt and debris, you reduce the risk of system malfunctions and costly repairs. This proactive approach to maintenance can help you avoid unexpected breakdowns and ensure that your system operates smoothly for years to come.

Click here to read more about our preventive/corrective annual maintenance contracts (AMC) programs

When to call in a professional

While some HVAC maintenance tasks can be performed by homeowners, it’s important to know when to call in a professional. If you notice any of the following issues, it’s time to contact a qualified HVAC technician:

  • Unusual noises or odours
  • Reduced airflow
  • Increased energy bills
  • Inconsistent temperatures throughout your home

A qualified technician will be able to diagnose the issue and make any necessary repairs.

Professional HVAC maintenance services

In addition to DIY maintenance tasks, it’s important to schedule regular maintenance appointments with a qualified HVAC technician. During these appointments, a technician will inspect your system for signs of wear and tear, clean your system’s components, and make any necessary repairs. This not only helps prevent costly repairs down the line, but it can also improve the overall energy efficiency of your system.


Cleaning the evaporator coils in your air conditioning system is a crucial maintenance task that should not be overlooked. By regularly cleaning these coils, you can ensure the optimal performance, energy efficiency, and longevity of your HVAC system. Whether you choose to perform DIY cleaning or seek professional assistance, the benefits of clean evaporator coils are well worth the effort. So don’t wait until your system starts underperforming or experiencing issues—make cleaning your evaporator coils a regular part of your HVAC maintenance routine.

Let us help

If you are looking for a reliable and experienced facility management company in Abu Dhabi, then look no further than Drill & Hammer General Maintenance. We are committed to providing excellent service and quality workmanship for our customers, and we offer competitive rates and flexible payment plans to meet your budget. So don’t hesitate, to contact us today and let us take care of all your facility management needs. 

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Drill and Hammer Abu Dhabi is a growing Emirati company established in 2018 with the goal to serve villas, apartments, and commercial facilities in Abu Dhabi providing Corrective and Preventive Facility Management services, as well as Hard and Soft services.

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