If you don’t change your furnace filter regularly, excess debris and dirt can get inside your heating system and collect on sensitive components, like the furnace coil. Checking the filter every month and replacing it promptly can help you avoid the negative effects of airflow restrictions caused by a dirty furnace coil.
What is a Furnace Coil and How Does it Get Dirty?
In most central heating and cooling systems, the air conditioner evaporator coil sits alongside the furnace heat exchanger inside a single cabinet. When you’re running the furnace, heated air has to travel across the coil on its way to the ductwork for distribution throughout your home.
The evaporator is a coil of copper refrigerant tubing with small channels in between that allow air to flow through it. When you’re running the A/C, dirt particles and mold can build up on the warm, moist coil, clog up the channels and block vital airflow.
A dirty coil can have a number of adverse effects on your heating system’s performance, including:
- Decreased energy efficiency — Your furnace has to work extra hard to satisfy the thermostat’s temperature setting when airflow is restricted, so it consumes more energy and your heating costs rise.
- Extra wear and tear on costly components — The added workload placed on the heating system by insufficient airflow can cause components to break down more often and shorten their useful lifespan.
- Less warmth and comfort — As system airflow declines, you’ll see a drop in warm air at the registers. A significant drop in airflow can trigger the high limit switch and shut down the furnace, leaving you without any heat.
How to Deal With a Dirty Furnace Coil
The coil is fragile and difficult to access, so it’s best to have it cleaned by an HVAC professional. A trained technician knows how to safely remove built up gunk and debris with special tools, appropriate cleaning solvents and/or compressed air, and thwart mold growth by applying a biocide.
For expert help dealing with the effects of a dirty furnace coil in your northeast Ohio home, contact Stack Heating & Cooling.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Cleveland, Ohio about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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