Friday, February 22, 2013
Dust and Your AC
If dust in your air conditioner made it more difficult and expensive to cool your home last summer, call an HVAC contractor to clean it for you. Although you can remove some of the dust yourself, you’ll need a technician who has the tools and training to access the parts that you can’t.
Dust is a major cause of air conditioning inefficiency and potentially failure. You can eliminate a good deal of dust in your air conditioner by keeping the filter clean for the indoor furnace or air handler. When dust builds on the evaporator coil, it slows the process of extracting heat from the indoor air, and may eventually cause the outdoor compressor to overheat and break. The dust also slows the passage of air through the filter, retarding the cooling process.
The other place where dust collects is in your outdoor compressor. Once you’ve removed all the vegetative debris around the unit, try hosing off the fins and coils with a light to medium spray. This can dislodge some of the dust that slows the cooling of the warmed refrigerant coming from inside.
An HVAC technician goes more deeply into the system by cleaning the outdoor coil and the electrical components. Dust impedes the flow of electricity through the wiring, interfering with the smooth operation of the appliance. The technician uses pH balanced cleaners to remove all the dirt and dust from the compressor’s coil, as well, increasing the efficiency of your A/C.
He also cleans the evaporator coil indoors and measures the amount of refrigerant in your system. The dust that collects outdoors can cause tiny leaks in the coils and connectors. If the refrigerant is low, the technician looks for the leaks and repairs or replaces the faulty parts, and refills your system to the manufacturer’s specifications.