Heat Pump and Cooling Coils

Clean HVAC Coils – A Look at HVAC Equipment Efficiency

Let's take a look at the inefficiencies of the heat pump and air conditioning equipment itself, and what homeowners can do to keep even older equipment running at highest possible efficiency.

Before going to work, let’s see how AC and heat pumps work. These systems actually work by air flowing through inside and outside heat exchangers. The heat is transported between the heat exchangers by a refrigerant fluid. In cooling mode, heat is collected from inside the home and is released to the outside air by the outside unit. In heating mode, they collect heat outside and release this heat inside the home.

These heat exchangers are often called coils as they are indeed coiled piping systems supported by lots of fine fins that increase the surface for heat exchange. Homeowners see typically only the outside unit with the coil and its fins inside a cabinet.

These coils are part of the system we need to look at. They need to have unobstructed airflow and be clean from insulating dust and debris for the most efficient heat exchange.

So here is what a homeowner can do:
  • Allow for unobstructed airflow through the outside unit and its coil.
  • Trim grass and bushes around the outside unit.
  • Remove yard debris from the cabinet and the visible part of the heat exchanger.
  • Carefully brush or hose off loose dust and debris from the coil’s fins.
    • Do not bend the fins to allow for complete air circulation
    • Carefully adjust fins where they have been bent from exterior influences.
The following steps shall only be addressed by a professional with appropriate knowledge of HVAC systems and the necessary safety precautions:
  • Remove debris from the inside of the outside cabinet.
  • Clean and ensure proper function of the blower.
  • Inspect and repeat the process as needed on the indoor coil.

And talking about airflow and obstructions, the single most effective maintenance that the homeowner can do is to clean or replace the blower/furnace filter regularly. Clogged filters reduce airflow, therefore reducing the system’s efficiency dramatically. And never run an AC system with a broken filter, nor without one, as house dust deposits on the inside coil greatly reducing the heat exchange capability.

Summit Heating & Air Conditioning is here to help you save on your energy bill. Call us today!

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