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Unmaintained air conditioning

Importance Of Air Conditioner Coil Cleanliness

Alex Chiba, Service HVAC Technician

Alex has over 10 years of experience as an HVAC technician. He is skilled and passionate about on-going maintenance of air conditioning. Over his career, Alex has resolved many different types of faults in air conditioning. Alex enjoys an active lifestyle if he’s not playing soccer you can find him and his friends trekking all across NSW.

How a dirty coil can increase air conditioning running costs?

Air conditioning systems use air to exchange heat from the air much like a car radiator removes unwanted heat from a car engine.

Heat transfer of an air conditioning system firstly takes place in the finned evaporator coil, where the refrigerant gas absorbs heat from air at room temperature passing over the finned coil, providing comfort to those in the room. Second stage heat transfer occurs in the condenser coil in the outside unit, where refrigerant gas that has passed from the evaporator coil, condenses, giving up heat to passing air that is being forced over the condenser coil fins by a powerful fan. This process is repeated endlessly.

Whilst the compressor and other parts of the system operate normally and each of the coils remains clean with unrestricted airflow, cool comfortable air will be delivered to the room, however, over time, dust and dirt and may be harmful bacteria build up between the fins of each of the coils, reducing airflow and capacity to provide cool clean air to the room.

Another factor that may greatly affect the flow of cool air is filter cleanliness;

Blocked filters can produce the same effect as a blocked evaporator coil; if both are dirty, poor cooling performance is very likely.

If this happens, the compressor will run for longer periods, consume more energy whilst causing air delivered to the room to become warmer and less comfortable.

In this scenario, occupants might be tempted to decrease the set temperature, further increasing the load on the compressor, whilst the real fault is insufficient airflow across the finned coil and likely to damage the compressor or cause the fan coil blower motors to burn out in severe circumstances.

Research has proven a set temperature in summer, for instance ranging between 22°C and 24°C produces optimum performance and consumes the least energy, whilst a lower temperature around 17° causes the compressor to work almost continuously at maximum load, and likely to shorten its life expectancy along with other parts of the system.

To prevent wasting energy due to excessive power consumption, filters should be checked and cleaned as necessary every 6 weeks. This task is easily completed by the home-owner and Alliance Climate Control can provide advice on how to complete this simple task. However, a full Alliance Climate Control Eco-clean and inspection should be scheduled at least every 2 years, using Alliance Climate Controls’ own microbial solution.

An added advantage in having this full service, is that all aspects of the system can be checked thoroughly to restore operation of the system or highlight any likely problems.

Ensuring each of the coils has clear air path and system components are working normally, comfortable cooling, or reverse cycle heating, will ensure comfort for you and your family whenever you need it.