How To Clean Ac Evaporator Coils Inside Your House?

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September 7, 2023 by Marjorie R. Rogers, MA (English), Certified Consultant

Cleaning ac evaporator coils inside your house requires turning off the unit, removing the front panel, and using a brush to carefully remove debris and buildup from the coils. Proper maintenance of your ac unit is crucial to achieve optimal performance and avoid costly repairs.

One important task that should be done regularly is cleaning the evaporator coils. Over time, dirt, dust, and other debris can accumulate on the coils, which causes them to become less efficient at cooling your home. This can also lead to poor indoor air quality and potential health issues.

In this article, we will discuss how to properly clean the ac evaporator coils inside your house. By following our step-by-step guide, you can keep your ac unit running smoothly and efficiently, and ensure that your home is always cool and comfortable.

How To Clean Ac Evaporator Coils Inside Your House?


Understanding How Ac Evaporator Coils Work

How Ac Evaporator Coils Function

Your ac’s evaporator coils are responsible for removing heat and humidity from the air inside your home. They work by absorbing heat from the indoor air that flows over them, transforming the refrigerant from liquid to gas. As the refrigerant absorbs heat, it eliminates moisture from the air, causing it to condense on the coils.

This process cools down the indoor air, which is then circulated throughout your home.


Importance Of Keeping Ac Evaporator Coils Clean

Cleaning your ac’s evaporator coils is essential for ensuring optimal efficiency and preventing a range of problems such as low airflow, system failure, and high energy bills. Dust, dirt, and other contaminants collect over time, hindering the coils’ ability to function correctly and reducing your unit’s overall cooling performance.

Routine cleaning can help improve its longevity and reduce the need for costly repairs.

Additionally, cleaning your ac’s evaporator coils can help improve indoor air quality by removing any mold, bacteria, and allergens that may have accumulated on the coils. This can be particularly helpful for people with allergies or respiratory issues, as dirty coils can aggravate these conditions.

The Signs Of Dirty Ac Evaporator Coils

Dirty ac evaporator coils can manifest in many ways, including:

-reduced airflow from your vents

-strange smells or odors coming from your unit

-higher than usual energy bills

-ice buildup on the evaporator coil


-system shut down due to overheating

Preparing For The Cleaning Process

Gathering Necessary Tools And Materials

Before beginning the cleaning process, you need to gather the required tools and materials. Some of the necessary tools you will need are a screwdriver, a soft-bristled brush, a vacuum cleaner, a fin comb, and a spray bottle. In addition to this, you will also need some materials to clean the ac evaporator coils, such as a cleaning solution, a soft cloth, and water.

Here is a list of all the tools and materials you require to clean your ac evaporator coils:

  • Screwdriver
  • Soft-bristled brush
  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Fin comb
  • Spray bottle
  • Cleaning solution
  • Soft cloth
  • Water

Turning Off Power To The Ac Unit

It is important to turn off the power to the ac unit before beginning the cleaning process. This will prevent the risk of electric shock and other accidents. You can switch off the power to the ac by turning off the air conditioner’s circuit breaker.

Another way to turn off the power is to unplug the ac unit.

Here are the steps to turn off power to the ac unit:

  • Locate the air conditioner’s circuit breaker.
  • Flip the circuit breaker switch to the “off” position.
  • Alternatively, unplug the ac unit.

Removing Obstacles And Detritus From The Ac Unit

Before you start cleaning, it’s crucial to remove any objects around the ac unit that could hinder your cleaning process. This includes furniture, rugs, and anything else that could obstruct your way. Removing the debris and dirt around the ac unit is essential to get rid of any clogged grime.

Here are the steps to remove obstacles and detritus from the ac unit:

  • Move furniture and rugs away from the ac unit.
  • Clean any debris or dirt around the ac unit using a vacuum cleaner or brush.
  • Remove any visible debris or obstructions, such as leaves or twigs, that may have built up around the ac unit.

By following these steps, you are well-prepared to begin the cleaning process of your ac evaporator coils. Remember to take all necessary precautions and have all the tools and materials at hand before you start. This will help you to ensure a safe and efficient cleaning process.

Cleaning The Ac Evaporator Coils

Accessing And Locating The Ac Evaporator Coils

Before cleaning the evaporator coils, you need to access and locate them. Here are the steps to follow:

  • Turn off the power – make sure your ac unit is turned off by disconnecting the power source.
  • Find the air handler – locate the air handler unit, which is typically found in attics, basements, or closets.
  • Remove the access panel – use a screwdriver to remove the screws that hold the access panel in place.
  • Locate the evaporator coils – the evaporator coils are usually located inside the air handler near the bottom.

Applying A Cleaning Solution And Rinsing The Coils

Once you’ve found the coils, follow these steps to clean them:

  • Spray the cleaning solution – spray the cleaning solution on the coils and allow it to sit for several minutes.
  • Scrub the coils – use a soft brush to gently scrub the coils and remove any dirt or debris.
  • Rinse the coils – rinse the coils with water and make sure all the cleaning solution is removed.
  • Dry the coils – dry the coils with a clean, lint-free cloth before reassembling the access panel.

Dealing With Stubborn Dirt Or Accumulation

In some cases, the coils may have stubborn dirt or accumulation that is difficult to remove. Here are some additional steps to take:

  • Use a foaming cleaner – a foaming coil cleaner is designed specifically for stubborn dirt and accumulation. Spray the foam on the coils and allow it to sit for several minutes before rinsing it off.
  • Avoid using harsh chemicals – avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive materials that can damage or corrode the coils.

Cleaning The Drain Pan And Drain Line

It’s essential to clean the drain pan and drain line regularly to prevent clogs and water damage. Here’s how to do it:

  • Remove the drain pan – the drain pan is typically located under the evaporator coils. Remove it carefully, making sure any water or debris is dumped outside.
  • Clean the drain pan – wipe down the drain pan with a clean cloth or sponge to remove any dirt or buildup.
  • Clean the drain line – use a wet/dry vacuum to suck out any clogs or debris in the drain line. Alternatively, use a pipe cleaner to clear any blockages or buildup.

Fitting Back The Components

Now that you have cleaned your ac evaporator coils, it’s time to put all of the components back together. Follow these steps to complete the reassembly process:

Replacing The Drain Pan

  • Carefully remove the old drain pan and dispose of it properly.
  • Install the new drain pan into the designated spot. Make sure it fits snugly and securely.
  • Reconnect the drain line to the new pan. It should fit securely without any leaks.
  • Make sure the drain line slopes at least 1/4 inch per foot to allow for proper drainage.

Reattaching The Access Panels

  • Reattach the access panels to their original positions. Make sure to use the correct screws and bolts to secure them properly.
  • Check the insulation on the panels to make sure it’s in good condition. If it’s damaged, replace it.
  • Ensure that all electrical components and wires are back in place and well-secured.

Restoring Power To The Ac Unit

  • Turn the circuit breaker back on to power up the ac unit.
  • Move the thermostat to the cooling setting and set it to a lower temperature than the current room temperature.
  • Allow the ac unit to run for at least 10 minutes to ensure that it’s working correctly.

Following these simple steps will ensure proper functionality and maximum efficiency of your ac unit.

Frequently Asked Questions Of How To Clean Ac Evaporator Coils Inside Your House?

How Often Should I Clean My Ac Evaporator Coils?

It is recommended to clean your ac evaporator coils at least once a year, preferably before the start of the cooling season.

What Are The Signs That My Ac Evaporator Coils Need Cleaning?

If you notice reduced airflow, warm air coming from your vents, or a musty smell, it may be time to clean your ac evaporator coils.

Can I Clean My Ac Evaporator Coils Myself?

Yes, you can clean your ac evaporator coils yourself with the right tools and techniques. However, it is recommended to hire a professional for thorough cleaning.

What Tools Do I Need To Clean My Ac Evaporator Coils?

You will need a soft-bristled brush, a vacuum cleaner, fin comb, and a coil cleaning solution. Make sure to turn off the power supply to your ac unit before cleaning.

Why Is It Important To Clean Ac Evaporator Coils Regularly?

Regular cleaning of ac evaporator coils helps improve the efficiency of your ac unit, increases its lifespan, and improves indoor air quality by reducing mold and bacterial growth.



As we wrap up this topic about cleaning ac evaporator coils, it’s important to bear in mind that proper ac maintenance is crucial in ensuring energy efficiency and better indoor air quality. Be mindful of the signs that your ac needs cleaning, such as poor cooling performance or unusual noises.

Take time to inspect and clean your ac coils regularly, as it prevents frequent breakdowns and reduces the need for repairs or replacement. We hope that this guide has been helpful in providing you with the right information on how to clean your ac evaporator coils easily and efficiently.

By following the steps we have outlined, you’ll be able to not only save money but also ensure that your ac unit runs smoothly throughout its lifespan. Remember, prevention is always better than cure!

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About Author (Marjorie R. Rogers)

The inspiring mum of 6 who dedicates her time to supporting others. While battling with her own demons she continues to be the voice for others unable to speak out. Mental illness almost destroyed her, yet here she is fighting back and teaching you all the things she has learned along the way. Get Started To Read …