Why Condenser Coils Need Cleaning | Nordic Temperature Control

11 Apr. 19

Why Condenser Coils Need Cleaning

For your HVAC system to achieve peak efficiency and performance, clean condenser coils are essential. Though, over time, a condenser coil will become coated with dust, grime, and even mold. This erodes system efficiency and effectiveness, and it can threaten your air quality or health.

Condenser Coil Plays a Key Role in Your HVAC System

To understand why clean condenser coils are important, it helps to understand how the system works. Employing the principle of refrigeration, a standard central air system has an indoor air handler, containing a fan and evaporator coil, and an outside compressor/condenser unit.

As the refrigerant solution changes from a liquid to a gas in the evaporator coil, it extracts heat energy from the indoor air, which results in cool air. The refrigerant then transfers the heat outside where it’s expelled from the condenser coil into the outdoor air, with the help of the compressor and fan.

Both coils must be clean in order to properly complete the heat-exchange process. If the release and removal of heat energy, outside and inside respectively, is restricted by dirty coils, the system must work longer and harder. You’ll lose efficiency, utility bills will go up, and your HVAC system may eventually break down.

Cleaning Evaporator Coils

If you’re good with machinery, you may try cleaning the evaporator coil. A combination of blowing and brushing is the preferred method, however, our technicians utilize a biodegradable foaming cleaner which we find works the best to loosen up the debris.

Compressed air can be blown across the condenser coil, moving from the cleaner to the dirtier side. If you’re using compressed air, avoid damaging the fins. Consistent airflow across the coil will loosen grime and dust without blowing it farther into the fins. Brush cleaning also may be necessary, though avoid forcing the issue or using a hard-wire brush that might damage fins or coils.

Monthly Cost Savings

HVAC Coil Cleaning | Nordic Temperature ControlWe still have customers who don’t believe washing coils is important. Now, whenever we have this issue come up I’ll send these pictures. This unit was drawing 15% more amps before washing, the supply air temperature was 64 instead of 58, and the compressor was overheating. Remember, dirty units = increased energy costs, decreased cooling performance, and more frequent repairs. Even when the coils are not this dramatic the technician can see results from washing coils. A coil can look clean but have dirt deep inside it. The technician can tell based on refrigerant pressures and the amperage of motors. So don’t always count on such dramatic pictures but do trust your technician when they tell you the coils need to be cleaned. They are trying to save you money!

Exceeding HVAC Industry Standards

Energy efficiency in the HVAC industry comfort starts with great system design, using energy star rated products, and installing the system with expert craftsmanship. As a client of Nordic Temperature Control, rest assure that our key partnerships with industry leaders allow us to continually design and deliver high performing, cutting-edge heating and cooling systems.


Kevin Hansen, Owner | Nordic Temperature Control