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Furnace Coil with Evaporator: Importance, Cleaning & Maintenance

Barry Martin
January 17, 2023

Furnace coils are among the most important components of any HVAC system . You wouldn't be able to enjoy the cool air on hot summer days without them. However, with time, they can gather dirt and debris.

Coils lose their workability to extract heat when they become dusty or blocked with debris like leaves or twigs. Your HVAC system will lose functionality and consume more energy.

Cleaning and maintenance are a must to keep the furnace evaporator coil active. Here we will relay every information on the importance, cleaning, and maintenance of furnace evaporator coils. Let’s dig into it.

What Is a Furnace Evaporator Coil?

Furnace coils are sometimes called "furnace evaporator coils" or "A Coils" because of their recognizable triangle shape.

The part of your AC system that collects heat from the inside air is called the evaporator coil. It is frequently found inside your air handler or related to your furnace.

The furnace evaporator coil is full of evaporator refrigerant. It pushes liquid refrigerant to the metering device. Air from the blower fan will pass over the coil, where the refrigerant in the evaporator absorbs the heat as it is forced through the coil.

Furnace Evaporator Coil

Importance of Installing Evaporator Coil with The Furnace

The furnace coil serves as a heat exchanger in the winter. If an evaporator coil gets installed with the furnace, it will absorb the heat from the air inside your home that your furnace produces when it burns gas or electricity. It also stores energy until the blower can transport it through your air ducts.

The heat will absorb quickly if an evaporator coil is installed with a furnace. Your home receives the best cooling from its combined efficiency. Coils of furnaces without evaporators don't operate very efficiently. It is also simpler to maintain the evaporator coil in a furnace. Due to all of these factors, installing an evaporator coil with the furnace is vital.


How does a Furnace Evaporator Coil Get Dirty?

The HVAC system won’t work correctly if the evaporator coil accumulates dust and debris. The furnace evaporator coil can get dirty because of dirt and dust from the air.

Air passes through the coils, and air dirt and dust enter the finance coil. They become trapped there. This dirt and dust all pile up if you don't clean it up regularly after a long time of not cleaning coils, mold and mildew grow in the coil.

It gets filthy when excessive dirt and dust get piled up in the furnace evaporator coil.

Dirty Furnace Evaporator Coil

How to Clean Furnace Coil?- Step-By-Step Process

Cleaning a furnace coil can be done in a variety of ways. It is wise to follow a step-by-step procedure. This article will cover the easiest step-by-step process that anyone can follow.

Step-by-step process of cleaning coil:

Step 1 : Safety comes first so take proper protection while cleaning. As a part of the protection, power off the furnace at the thermostat, circuit breaker, and furnace disconnect the switch.

Step 2 : Take off the blower compartment panel

Step 3 : Separate the panel from the evaporator

Step 4 : To clean the coil by hand, use soft cleaning towels

Step 5 : Gently clean the fins by using a soft brush

Step 6 : Clean the fan and blower compartment thoroughly

Step 7 : Rub and clean the condensate pan

Step 8 : Take a bowl and mix bleach and water in a 50/50 ratio. Pour that solution into the pan to destroy germs in the system. You can also use a foaming evaporator coil cleaner instead of the homemade solution. Foaming evaporator coil cleaner works faster and better than homemade bleach solution.

Step 9 : Reconnect the panels and switch on the furnace power

Step 10 : Replace or clean your air filter.

Are you done with all these steps? Congratulations, you have finished cleaning!

Maintenance Tips for Furnace Coil

Proper maintenance keeps the coil’s lifespan long. Keep in mind that implementing a preventative maintenance plan might save up to 50% on potential maintenance expenses for the coils.

Follow the maintenance tips below :

  • Obtain regular maintenance at least twice a year. The beginning of spring and the beginning of fall are the finest seasons for preventative maintenance.
  • A clogged filter doesn’t work properly, so change the furnace filter every 2-3 months.
  • Clean the area around your coil and furnace regularly. Dirt and dust can hinder the work process of the units.
man standing

Why Can’t You Clean a Furnace Evaporator Coil By Yourself?

Are you planning to use an evaporator coil cleaner to clean the coil? Remember, you are not an expert, and watching videos online doesn't make you an expert. Do you know how risky it can be as you are not an expert?

According to the Material Safety Data Sheet on the Home Depot website, a recent study says,
"Inhalation of a foaming coil cleaner product can result in ‘dizziness, Carbon Monoxide poisoning, nausea, difficulty breathing, and irregular heartbeats."

Beyond the fact that they are tough to access, we do not advise stepping into your furnace. When you start opening the system, there's always a possibility that something will break or go wrong. As the survey says, you can face health issues also.

Due to all these reasons, we suggest you cannot clean a furnace evaporator coil by yourself. The rest is up to you.

Costs of Cleaning

Costs of Cleaning and Replacement Furnace Coil

Cleaning and replacement coils of furnace costs depend on labor, unit size, configuration, time, style, and additional repairs. The cost can vary based on these factors.

Cleaning Cost

Evaporator coil cleaning mostly 100$-400$. But sometimes you have to replace the coil to clean it. Then the cost will vary. The evaporator coil, which is found in the air handler within your home, is cleaned as a separate service for $250 to $500.

Replacement Cost

The coil replacement cost is higher than the cleaning cost. Let's start with the labor cost. It depends on the time of coil replacement. Coil replacement takes around 3-4 hours. So, local labor charges mostly 50$-100$ dollars. If the time varies, then the labor charge will be accordingly.

The following factor that determines the cost is unit size and configuration. The unit size differs from 1.5 tons to 6 tons. Based on this, the cost can be 300$-2100$. 

The evaporator coil has different styles, and the replacement charge will vary. For A-coils, the average cost is 1300$, and for  N-coils or Z-coils, the cost is 1550$.

Man Working

Call an Expert

Do you want the evaporator coil in your furnace cleaned? We have already addressed the dangers of cleaning yourself. Then what would be the best way for you to clean the coil?

Call an expert to clean the coil!

Experts are aware of basic safety protocols for cleaning these coils. They will visit you and finish the job on your behalf. You don't need to feel anxious about cleaning. They will do the job without causing any damage to the HVAC system. There is no boundary for the timing. Experts are available 24/7. You can book an appointment at any flexible time that suits you.

Check different websites online for the experts who clean the furnace’s coil. Book an appointment and enjoy the service!

Final Thought

Lastly, a furnace coil works effectively if cleaned and maintained regularly. Don’t forget to follow the steps to clean and tips to maintain that are explained here. If cleaning or maintenance seems challenging, take the help of experts. The efficiency of your system will increase, and your HVAC system will last longer if you keep your coils as clean as possible.

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