Air Quality

How To Clean Evaporator Coils on Central Air Conditioner?

Clean Evaporator Coils

For optimal summer comfort, a well-functioning central air conditioning system is indispensable. However, the efficiency of the system can be compromised when the evaporator coil, a crucial component for temperature exchange, becomes quickly clogged. This not only leads to decreased efficiency but can also result in damage to the compressor and other components of the air conditioner. To address this issue, individuals may wonder about the proper method to clean evaporator coils for the central air conditioning units.

In response to this query, the following post provides insights by amalgamating professional industry knowledge with recent research.

 How to Clean the Evaporator Coil Without Removing It?

The following steps outline two methods for cleaning the evaporator coil, requiring basic manual skills, particularly during the disassembly and reassembly of the system. If there are concerns about performing these tasks or difficulty in locating the evaporator coil, it is advisable to seek assistance from an HVAC professional to ensure the system’s efficient operation.

1. Turn Off the System:

Safety is paramount, and thus, the first step involves turning off the central air conditioning system. This can be done using the switch on the indoor AC unit or by accessing the breaker box to ensure complete shutdown.

2. Locate the Evaporator Coil:

The evaporator coil is the final internal component of the air conditioning system. Accessing it involves removing the main indoor AC cover, revealing the coil’s structure, which includes a coolant-containing copper tube housing temperature distribution fins. An inner cover may match the main cover and V profile, and it’s essential to keep screws and fasteners in a secure place if other components are removed.

3. Assess the Need for Cleaning:

Examine the interior of the coil to determine if cleaning is necessary. Accumulated dirt and debris on the coil’s fins are indicators that cleaning is recommended.

4. Insert a Collection Tray:

To prevent debris from falling into the system during cleaning, use a collection tray made of paperboard or similar material. Alternatively, a vacuum hose can be employed to suck up falling dirt and debris.

5. Clean the Coils:

Use a stiff brush or compressed air to clean the evaporator coil fins. Be cautious not to bend the fins while ensuring effective removal of debris. Over-the-counter cleaners specifically designed for evaporator coil cleaning can also be utilized, following the product’s instructions for application.

6. Reassemble and Reboot the System:

After thorough cleaning and rinsing of the coils, reassemble the system by reinstalling covers and components in the same order as they were removed. Reboot the system and conduct tests to ensure proper functionality.

If HVAC issues persist, consider replacing the evaporative coils.

Signs of a Dirty Evaporator Coil:

Reduced system efficiency is the primary indicator of a dirty evaporator coil, manifesting as warm air blowing from the air conditioner, frequent cycling, insufficient cooling, and potential failure to turn on. Additional signs include system noise, coil frost, no water drainage, refrigerant leaks, and water accumulation.

It is recommended to inspect the evaporator coil for these symptoms regularly, and if dirt is not the issue, consulting an HVAC professional is advisable.

 Cleaning Without Removing:

The outlined procedure details how to clean the evaporator coil without removal. Removal of the evaporator coil is typically unnecessary unless replacement or specific repairs are required.


Regular cleaning of AC evaporative coils, following the methods discussed in this post, is essential for maintaining optimal system performance. By adopting these cleaning strategies, individuals can ensure the longevity and efficiency of their central air conditioning units.

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About the author


I am Ben , a seasoned HVAC specialist with over 6 of experience in the HVAC industry. I holds HVAC Certification and has a proven track record in providing expert advice on HVAC systems.

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