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Safeguard Your HVAC System With Effective Evaporator Coil Cleaner


engineered temperature solutions logo and pictures of an hvac systems evaporator coils with text 'Lets talk evaporator coils'

I. Introduction to Evaporator Coils

Evaporator coils are fundamental components within HVAC systems, responsible for the critical task of cooling indoor air.


Situated within the air handler unit or furnace, these coils play a pivotal role in the refrigeration cycle.


As warm air circulates through the system, the evaporator coils absorb heat, causing the refrigerant inside them to evaporate and transform into a gas.


This process cools the air, which is then distributed throughout the building, providing comfort to occupants.


A. Understanding Evaporator Coils

Evaporator coils consist of a network of metal tubes, usually made of copper or aluminum, accompanied by thin metal fins. This intricate design maximizes surface area and promotes efficient heat transfer.


As air passes over the coils, heat is exchanged between the refrigerant and the air, resulting in a decrease in temperature.


This cooled air is then circulated back into the living or working space, maintaining a comfortable indoor environment.


B. Importance of Clean Evaporator Coils

Over time, dirt, dust, and other airborne particles accumulate on the coil surfaces, forming a layer of grime. This buildup insulates the coils, hindering heat transfer and impeding airflow.


As a result, the system must work harder to achieve the desired temperature, leading to increased energy consumption and potential mechanical strain.


Regular maintenance, including coil cleaning, is necessary to prevent these issues and maintain peak system efficiency.


By keeping evaporator coils clean, HVAC professionals can minimize energy costs, reduce the risk of equipment malfunctions, and extend the lifespan of the system.


Additionally, clean coils contribute to better indoor air quality by preventing the growth of mold, bacteria, and other contaminants that thrive in dirty environments.


Prioritizing evaporator coil cleanliness is essential for ensuring the comfort, health, and efficiency of commercial and industrial spaces.


 

side-by-side picture of clean and dirty hvac system evaporator coils with text 'benefits of clean evaporator coils'

II. Benefits of Clean Evaporator Coils

Maintaining clean evaporator coils is crucial for the efficient operation and longevity of HVAC systems.


Here are several key benefits associated with keeping these coils free from dirt, debris, and contaminants:


A. Improved Energy Efficiency

Clean evaporator coils facilitate optimal heat transfer, allowing the refrigerant to absorb heat from the indoor air more effectively.


When coils are dirty, the layer of buildup acts as insulation, inhibiting heat exchange and forcing the system to work harder to achieve the desired temperature.


By regularly cleaning the coils, HVAC professionals can restore peak system efficiency, leading to lower energy consumption and reduced utility costs.


B. Enhanced Cooling Performance

Dirty evaporator coils restrict airflow and impede the cooling process, resulting in uneven temperature distribution and reduced comfort levels within the building.


Clean coils ensure proper airflow and maximize the system's cooling capacity, enabling it to maintain consistent and comfortable indoor temperatures.


This is particularly important during hot summer months when cooling demand is high.


C. Extended Equipment Lifespan

When evaporator coils are clean and free from obstruction, HVAC systems experience less strain and operate more smoothly.


Reduced mechanical stress helps prolong the lifespan of critical components such as compressors, fans, and motors.


By investing in regular coil cleaning and maintenance, building owners can avoid costly repairs and premature equipment failure, ultimately maximizing the longevity of their HVAC systems.


D. Improved Indoor Air Quality

Dirty evaporator coils provide an ideal breeding ground for mold, mildew, bacteria, and other harmful microorganisms.


As air passes over contaminated coils, these pollutants can be dispersed throughout the building, compromising indoor air quality and potentially causing respiratory issues for occupants.


Cleaning the coils removes accumulated contaminants, promoting healthier indoor air and creating a more comfortable and hygienic environment.


E. Preventing System Malfunctions

Buildup on evaporator coils can lead to a range of HVAC system malfunctions, including frozen coils, reduced airflow, and drainage problems.


These issues not only disrupt system performance but also pose safety risks and inconvenience to building occupants.


Regular coil cleaning helps prevent such malfunctions by eliminating obstructions and ensuring the system operates smoothly and reliably.


F. Cost Savings

By optimizing energy efficiency, reducing the risk of equipment failures, and minimizing the need for repairs, clean evaporator coils ultimately translate into cost savings for building owners.


The investment in regular coil maintenance pays off through lower energy bills, decreased downtime, and extended equipment lifespans, making it a wise financial decision for commercial and industrial facilities.


 

III. Top 5 Evaporator Coil Cleaner Product Recommendations

With a plethora of evaporator coil cleaners on the market, selecting the right one can be daunting.


In this comprehensive review, we'll review the various types of evaporator coil cleaners, exploring their effectiveness, ease of use, and overall value.


Some offer no rinse solutions while others may be more eco-friendly, so finding the right balance might be a little tricky.


Whether you're a seasoned HVAC technician or a DIY enthusiast, this review aims to provide valuable insights to help you make an informed decision and keep your HVAC system running smoothly.


Here are the top five recommended products, with Nu-Calgon products standing out as a preferred choice:



Nu-Calgon Evap Foam No Rinse and Evap Powr-C evaporator coil cleaner products

  • Description: Evap Foam “no rinse” is a high-performance, heavy-duty detergent, specifically formulated with special surfactants and alkaline cleaners that have been developed into a foaming, no-rinse product. The aerosol product can be sprayed either right side up or upside down, and is ideal for use on most coils, but particularly suited for cooling or evaporator coils.


  • Benefits: Engineered Temperature Solutions favors Nu-Calgon products like Evap Foam No Rinse due to their superior cleaning performance and convenience. Evap Foam will liquefy dirt, grease, oil, and other residues quickly and easily. Since it is fortified with corrosion inhibitors, it is safe for use on metals and other materials. The product’s fast-breaking foam is completely self-rinsing. Simply spray Evap Foam on the coil and the foam will wash the emulsified matter off. The aerosol product is biodegradable, and NSF registered*, and helps leave the area deodorized with a pleasant lemon scent.


  • Where to Purchase: Nu-Calgon Evap Foam No Rinse is available through authorized distributors and HVAC supply stores.


While Nu-Calgon products are preferred for their superior performance, Engineered Temperature Solutions adopts a tailored approach for washing microchannel evaporator coils, opting for alternative cleaning methods like blowing out with CO2 or washing with water only to ensure optimal cleanliness and system operation.



DiversiTech MasterCare™ PRO-Green evaporator coil cleaner for hvac system

  • Description: MasterCare™ PRO-GREEN Coil Cleaner is a no-rinse, mild alkaline coil cleaner designed for air-cooled condensers, evaporators, electronic and permanent filters, fan blades, grilles, mini-split and microchannel applications. Pro-Green cleans deposits on coils and rids condensate pans of slime. 1 gallon makes 4 gallons of coil cleaner, which makes this choice a great value.


  • Benefits: Can be used both indoor and outdoor, anywhere non-corrosive cleaning is required.

  • This cleaner offers thorough cleaning without the need for rinsing, making it a convenient choice for HVAC maintenance tasks. Its versatility and effectiveness contribute to improved system performance and energy efficiency.


  • Where to Purchase: DiversiTech PRO-Green can be found at authorized distributors and HVAC supply stores nationwide.



Frost King ACF19 Air Conditioner Coil Foam Cleanerer

  • Description: Frost King ACF19 is a heavy-duty detergent-based product for maximum cleaning power. Your air conditioner will look and perform its best when you use it. It easily removes pollutants like dirt, grease, and oil. This no-rinse foaming coil cleaner comes in a 19 oz aerosol can with a special 360-degree valve that allows spraying in virtually any position.


  • Benefits: Frost King air conditioner coil cleaner can also be used for car radiators, lawnmower engines, refrigerators and freezer coils and more. Heavy-duty foam easily and effectively removes dirt, grease and oil from air conditioner coils and car radiators. No rinse is necessary.


  • Where to Purchase: Frost King ACF19 is available at hardware stores, home improvement centers, and online retailers.



simple green evaporator coil cleaner products

  • Description: Simple Green Clean Building Coil Cleaner is a non-toxic and biodegradable solution suitable for environmentally conscious businesses. Its powerful formula breaks down dirt and grease, leaving evaporator coils clean and residue-free.


  • Benefits: Engineered Temperature Solutions appreciates its eco-friendly nature and thorough cleaning performance, making it suitable for a wide range of HVAC systems. Professional-strength, and self-rinsing on condensate-producing coils. Effectively removes dirt, grease, and built-up grime. NSF registered C1 and K5 for use in food processing areas. Non-caustic and non-flammable formula and low VOC formula that contains no added scent. It is safe to use on HVAC units, refrigerators, freezers, and similar equipment. Liquid concentrate foaming formula clings to hard-to-reach areas.


  • Where to Purchase: Simple Green Foaming Coil Cleaner can be purchased from authorized distributors and online retailers.



a can of WEB coil cleaner

  • Description: WEB Coil Cleaner is a heavy-duty cleaner designed for tough cleaning tasks on evaporator and condenser coils. Its foaming action effectively removes dirt, grease, and debris, restoring optimal airflow and system efficiency.


  • Benefits: Its heavy-duty formula ensures thorough cleaning, contributing to improved HVAC system performance and longevity. Foaming action helps loosen dirty buildup on your condenser coils. Biodegradable, no fume formula in a can that is designed with a 360 spray nozzle. It can be held upside down and the spray nozzle still works!


  • Where to Purchase: Web Coil Cleaner is available at HVAC supply stores and online retailers.


These top-rated evaporator coil cleaner products offer effective solutions for maintaining clean and efficient HVAC systems.


 

video of evaporator coil cleaning - keep your evaporator coil cleaner with scheduled professional maintenance

IV. Tips for Maintaining Clean Evaporator Coils

Maintaining clean evaporator coils is crucial for ensuring the efficient operation of HVAC systems and maintaining indoor air quality.


In addition to regular cleaning, here are some additional tips for keeping evaporator coils clean and functioning optimally:


Air filters help trap dust, dirt, and other airborne particles before they can reach the evaporator coils.


However, if air filters become clogged or dirty, they can restrict airflow and lead to the accumulation of debris on the coils.


To prevent this, it's essential to replace air filters according to the manufacturer's recommendations, typically every one to three months.


Inspect and Clean Drain Lines

Condensate drain lines remove moisture collected by the evaporator coils.


Over time, these drain lines can become clogged with algae, mold, or debris, leading to water backup and potential water damage.


Inspect drain lines regularly and flush them with a mixture of bleach and water to prevent clogs and ensure proper drainage.


Maintain Adequate Airflow

Proper airflow is essential for efficient heat exchange on evaporator coils.


Ensure that vents and registers are unobstructed and free from furniture, curtains, or other obstacles that could impede airflow.


Additionally, maintain sufficient clearance around the indoor unit to allow for proper ventilation and airflow.


Schedule Professional Maintenance

Regular HVAC maintenance performed by qualified technicians can help identify and address potential issues with evaporator coils before they escalate.


Professional technicians can conduct thorough inspections, cleaning, and tune-ups to ensure that evaporator coils and the entire HVAC system are operating efficiently.


If you aren't sure if your HVAC system needs maintenance, check out this article on 'How to Tell if Your Building Needs Air Conditioner Repair'


Use Coil Coatings or Treatments

Some HVAC contractors offer coil coatings or treatments designed to protect evaporator coils from dirt and debris buildup.


These coatings create a barrier on the coil surface, making it easier to clean and preventing contaminants from adhering to the coils.


Consider investing in these treatments as part of a proactive maintenance plan.


Monitor Indoor Humidity Levels

High humidity levels can promote mold and mildew growth on evaporator coils.


Use a hygrometer to monitor indoor humidity levels and implement measures to maintain optimal humidity levels (typically between 30% and 50%).


Installing a dehumidifier can help remove excess moisture from the air and prevent coil contamination.


By implementing these additional tips for maintaining clean evaporator coils, commercial and industrial property owners can prolong the lifespan of their HVAC systems, improve energy efficiency, and ensure a comfortable indoor environment for occupants.


Regular maintenance and proactive measures are key to preventing issues and maximizing the performance of evaporator coils.


If you want to learn more about humidity and keeping consistent humidity levels in your commercial or industrial space, check out the ETS article on the 'Benefits of Having a Commercial Humidifier Installed in Your Building'


 

V. Step-by-Step Guide to Evaporator Coil Cleaning

Cleaning evaporator coils is a crucial maintenance task that helps ensure the optimal performance and efficiency of HVAC systems.


While this process is best handled by trained professionals, here is a comprehensive guide outlining the typical steps involved in cleaning evaporator coils:


A. Preparation:


  1. Shut Off Power: Before beginning any maintenance work, it's essential to turn off the power supply to the HVAC system to prevent accidents or injuries.

  2. Access Evaporator Coil: Locate the evaporator coil within the HVAC system. This may require removing access panels or covers to gain access to the coil.

  3. Inspect Coil: Take a close look at the condition of the evaporator coil, noting any visible dirt, debris, or signs of mold or mildew growth.


B. Cleaning Process:


  1. Remove Debris: Use a soft-bristle brush or vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment to gently remove loose dirt, dust, and debris from the surface of the coil. Be careful not to damage the delicate fins of the coil.

  2. Apply Coil Cleaner: Apply a commercially available evaporator coil cleaner according to the manufacturer's instructions. Ensure the cleaner is suitable for use on evaporator coils and compatible with the coil material.

  3. Allow Dwell Time: Let the cleaner sit on the coil for the recommended dwell time to allow it to penetrate and loosen stubborn dirt and grime.

  4. Rinse Coil: After the dwell time has elapsed, use a gentle stream of water to rinse off the coil thoroughly. Ensure all traces of the cleaner and dirt are removed from the coil surface.

  5. Inspect Drain Pan: While the coil is exposed, take the opportunity to inspect the drain pan beneath the coil for any signs of buildup or blockages. Clean the drain pan if necessary to ensure proper drainage.


C. Reassembly and Testing:


  1. Dry Coil: Allow the evaporator coil to air dry completely before reassembling the HVAC system. Ensure there is no moisture left on the coil or surrounding components.

  2. Replace Filters: If applicable, replace the air filters in the HVAC system with clean, fresh filters to maintain optimal airflow and indoor air quality.

  3. Restore Power: Once the coil is clean and dry, reassemble any access panels or covers and restore power to the HVAC system.

  4. Test System: Turn on the HVAC system and verify that it is operating correctly. Monitor the system for any signs of issues, such as reduced airflow or unusual noises.


D. Schedule Regular Maintenance:


  1. Establish Cleaning Schedule: Develop a regular maintenance schedule for cleaning evaporator coils based on manufacturer recommendations and usage patterns.

  2. Professional Inspection: Consider scheduling periodic inspections and maintenance visits by trained HVAC technicians to ensure the ongoing cleanliness and efficiency of the evaporator coils and the entire HVAC system.


By following these step-by-step guidelines and implementing a proactive maintenance plan, building owners and facility managers can effectively clean and maintain evaporator coils.


 

Conclusion

By regularly cleaning and maintaining evaporator coils, property owners can prevent common issues such as reduced airflow, decreased cooling capacity, and compromised indoor air quality.


Clean coils also contribute to energy efficiency by allowing the HVAC system to operate more effectively and consume less energy.


By investing in professional maintenance services, using quality coil cleaning products, and implementing proactive measures, property owners can maximize HVAC efficiency, reduce energy costs, and prolong the life of their HVAC systems.


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