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Wildfires and Cleaning Your AC’s Coils


Air conditioning maintenance in Van Nuys, CA and elsewhere in So. Cal is usually something you schedule during the spring. That way your AC is ready to go when the hottest weather arrives.

But right now during the fall, we have an emergency situation in Southern California, which is the outbreak of major wildfires. These fast-spreading fires are an unfortunately regular occurrence at this time of year, but the fires of 2019 are more numerous than usual. We’re hoping you are reading this email from your own house and that you and your family have been safe during the fires. We also recommend you take steps to protect your comfort and valuable HVAC equipment with maintenance. Not the regular maintenance that’s done in spring, but a specific maintenance job—cleaning your air conditioner’s coils.

The Coils and Fire Season

Your air conditioner has two coils: the indoor evaporator coil and the outdoor condenser coil. This is where the AC interacts with the air to remove heat from it to cool down the house (evaporator coil) and then exhaust the heat to the outdoors (condenser coil). The air conditioner can only work effectively and efficiently if these coils are clean.

During wildfire season, smoke, soot, and other particles spread out for hundreds of miles. This can affect your health, but it’s also not good for your air conditioner! It leaves thick grime across the outdoor coil that severely limits its ability to exhaust heat. This will lead to the AC overheating, making it harder to draw heat from indoors and sometimes causing the AC to trip the circuit breaker. The wildfire trouble isn’t limited to the outdoor coil, either. Dirty air that finds its way inside your home will enter the return air vents and may get into the coil. We strongly advise you to change out the current air filter to eliminate any soot and ash that may have already gathered there. This helps to prevent contamination across the indoor coil.

The Benefits of Professional Coil Cleaning

Please don’t attempt to clean the coils of the AC on your own. This isn’t a job you can do with a rag and some spray cleaner, and blasting a hose into the cabinet may damage the coil. You may not be able to reach the coil easily, depending on the type of AC you have. You may also end up voiding the warranty by trying a DIY project like this. Professionals can detach the coils and then safely clean them using. Here’s how this benefits you:

  • Significantly improve energy efficiency and stop a rise in cooling bills. Cleaning coils can result in a 16% efficiency increase. If the coils were covered with soot, the increase will be even higher.
  • Reduced strain on the rest of the AC to reduce repair needs and help it enjoy a long service life.
  • Eliminate the danger of bacteria forming along the coil (which is especially hazardous for the indoor coil).
  • Keep away a sooty odor around the house.

Get a jump on these problems—you’ll still need your AC in the days ahead, and you’ll want it fully recovered from the effects of the fires.

Kilowatt Heating, Air Conditioning and Electrical is here to help. Call our friendly technicians 24/7 for exceptional customer service!

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