Once I figure out how to get the sheet metal covers off the indoor
evaporator coil, what kind of cleaning liquid or spray is the strongest and
still safe to use on the coils? I'm thinking of something I can get at the
local hardware store, not something I'd have to go to an AC specialty shop
to find... this evaporator has not been cleaned for 20 years, mainly
because the panels are so hard to remove. Still seems to work good though,
but I'm sure it will be more efficient once I get the dust out.
I am not an AC person, but a friend is an AC tech' and advised me to
go the an AC specialty supply outfit. They make fluid just for that
purpose. I don't know if it comes in a pressurized spray can or
not, what I got was liquid and I put it in a garden sprayer (that I
don't use to spray plants). It doesn't take a lot of pressure, but
then you need to use a water hose to rinse it out and the dirt and
grime come out with the water. This would probably be a problem
doing inside coils that way, but it works great on the outside
What I'm wondering is whether this "special fluid" sold at the AC specialty
shops is similar to chemicals used for other purposes, for example
automotive sprays for cleaning brakes, or fluids for cleaning stoves. After
all the evaporator coil and dirt that covers it is very similar to other
types of equipment. I don't imagine there is a molecule that is specific to
air conditioning. It would be more specific to removing dirt from metal
parts, I guess.
The old guy who recently installed the HVAC system in my husband's
workshop said to use white vinegar and water. The stuff would run
down into the condensate drain. He didn't specify what concentration,
though. We haven't tried it yet.
Good tip Cindy! I'll just use Vinegar full strength. Vinegar is actually
good for cleaning many surfaces because it is a weak acid, not strong enough
to cause any damage, but the acid etches away the dirt.
If you have black areas on the coil it may not be dirt but mold and I
do not think a mild acid will kill mold, a pro product is likely a
detergent, mild acid or alkaline and something to kill mold all in one
product. Your AC coil actualy cleans itself from condensation running
down the coil so if its dirt you have a air filter problem. A working
air filter will keep a coil clean. Any acid will affect a coils
integrity you need to rinse well, but a pro product will be safer and
do the job right. Maybe its dust and just water or mild soap will
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