How Often Should A/C Coils Be Cleaned?

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duncan air conditioning

A well-maintained A/C unit works more efficiently, consumes less energy and lasts longer overall. Your local Duncan air conditioning service company—Dial One Johnson Plumbing, Cooling and Heating—can take care of regular maintenance like changing air filters, checking refrigerant levels and cleaning air conditioning coils. Read on to learn more about A/C coils, how they work and how often they need to be cleaned.


Need air conditioning repair in Duncanville, TX? Dial One Johnson Plumbing, Cooling and Heating specializes in HVAC installations, repairs and maintenance. Contact our team at (469) 240-5618 or visit us online to schedule a visit today.

What Are Air Conditioner Coils?

Your unit relies on its A/C coils to cool the air in your home. It may seem like A/C units produce cold air, but they really work by removing heat from the air in your home. Your HVAC unit has two types of coils: condenser coils and evaporator coils.


  • Condenser Coils—your unit’s condenser coils are located in the outdoor section of your system. These coils use refrigerant to transfer the heat removed from the air in your home to the outside. 
  • Evaporator Coils—a cooling system’s evaporator coils are housed within the inside portion of the unit. These coils remove heat and humidity from the air in your home.

Why Do A/C Coils Need to be Cleaned?

Your A/C system’s coils need to be clean in order for the heat exchange process to work efficiently. Indoor evaporator coils can get covered in dust and other air pollutants that circulate throughout your system, while outdoor condenser coils are prone to getting covered in dirt and other types of debris. This essentially insulates your coils from the air they need to be in contact with. Dirty A/C coils will make your unit less efficient when it comes to cooling your home. Your system will need to consume more energy as it strains to keep up with cooling demands, which means utility bills will skyrocket and your unit will require frequent repairs. 


If the problem is neglected over time, issues like frozen evaporator coils and an overheating condenser unit will crop up, leading to expensive repairs and shortening your HVAC system’s lifespan. Dirty evaporator and condenser coils can increase your unit’s energy consumption by more than thirty percent, not to mention making your unit much less effective at cooling your home. 

How Often Do A/C Coils Need to be Cleaned?   

When you schedule annual maintenance from a local Duncan air conditioning professional, a seasonal tune-up includes coil cleaning. Cleaning A/C coils twice a year—once in the spring and once in the fall—is ideal, though some units are fine with an annual cleaning. Your location and climate factor into optimal cleaning frequency. If you live in an area with high levels of pollution, dust or pollen, or if you have a large number of pets in the home, your system will likely benefit from being cleaned and inspected more frequently. 


Frequent tune-ups help your HVAC unit run efficiently year-round. A qualified technician can spot loose or worn parts and repair them before a more expensive problem occurs at an inconvenient time. Annual maintenance helps you decrease utility costs and it can extend the life of your unit by many years. 

How to Keep Coils Clean

While the best way to keep A/C coils clean and efficient is to schedule a visit from an HVAC pro, there are a few things you can do in between visits to keep things running smoothly. Try the following:


  • Check outdoor condenser coils frequently. You can use a brush to gently clean away debris.
  • Check your air filter at least once a month and replace (or clean if you have reusable filters) when necessary. Air filters should be swapped out or cleaned every 30–90 days.
  • Keep a 2ft area around your outdoor condenser unit clear of debris. This includes trimming back any bushes, trees or shrubbery to allow for proper airflow around your unit. 
  • Remove large pieces of debris, like branches or twigs, that fall into your unit’s condenser coils. Always ensure the unit is turned off before performing any cleaning or maintenance tasks. 
  • Remove dirt and dust from condenser coils by turning off the unit and rinsing it down with a hose. 


It’s important to note that the fins on both evaporator and condenser coils are extremely delicate and can easily get bent or damaged. This is one of the many reasons why the majority of A/C cleaning and maintenance should be left to an HVAC professional. 

What Does an Annual HVAC System Tune-Up Include?

When you schedule annual maintenance with an air conditioning repair company like Dial One Johnson, a fully trained, licensed and insured technician will clean your unit top-to-bottom, replace air filters, check refrigerant levels and top them up if necessary. They’ll also inspect your unit for any loose or worn parts and repair or replace them right away. This is an invaluable service, as it can prevent costly repairs down the line and help you fix the issue before your unit breaks down right when you need it most. 


Our team recommends scheduling system tune-ups twice a year—a spring tune-up to get your A/C in ship shape before the warm weather hits, and another one in the fall to ensure your unit is ready to heat your home all winter long.

Dial One Johnson Plumbing, Cooling and Heating Can Help

Our team has served Dallas homes for over 50 years. We specialize in HVAC installations, repairs and maintenance, as well as plumbing services in Duncanville, TX, and surrounding areas. If you need emergency AC repairs, we offer 24/7 support and financing options to help cover those unexpected costs. Give us a call at (469) 518-4211 or contact us online to schedule a visit or learn more about our services today.  

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