Can a Dirty Furnace Coil Really Affect Heating?Furnaces contain several important components, like burners, heat exchangers and pilot lights. But a coil is an air conditioner part, so how can it affect the performance and efficiency of your furnace in the middle of the winter?  

In most central furnace and air conditioning combination systems, the indoor components are mounted inline. The air conditioner’s evaporator coil is situated in the furnace airflow in the plenum, typically just above the furnace. Winter or summer, any factors that restrict flow of air through the evaporator coil can affect heating or cooling performance, respectively, decreasing energy efficiency and raising operating costs.

Dirt Happens

Dirt and dust present in your system’s airflow can collect in the narrow passageways of the A/C coil, gradually restricting airflow from the furnace. This causes your furnace to run longer “on” cycles to satisfy thermostat settings in the home, increasing energy consumption and monthly expenses. In addition, extended heating cycles add wear and tear to furnace components, possibly resulting in shortened service life.

Because most evaporator coils are sealed, the services of a qualified heating and cooling technician are required to remove dirt and dust accumulation that hinders airflow. Thereafter, greater attention to monthly air filter changes and annual professional maintenance usually helps prevent dirty furnace coils.

Mold Grows

During the summer, the active evaporator coil is continuously wet from condensation—a friendly environment for mold growth. Mold spores circulating in the ductwork can accumulate inside the coil, gradually constricting airflow. During the winter months, mold growth spawned during summer continues to restrict free passage of air, hampering furnace performance and efficiency.

An HVAC technician can disinfect coil surfaces to remove mold, as well as to suggest ways to prevent recurrence. One alternative is the installation of UV light tubes in your ductwork and at the coil. Exposure to ultraviolet light can permanently neutralizes mold growth.

For professional service for resolving a dirty furnace coil and prevent it from becoming an issue again, contact Stack Heating & Cooling in Northeast Ohio.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Cleveland, Ohio about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about furnace coils and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

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