It's important to keep the AC coils clean so that heat can exchange efficiently through the coils without being blocked by dirt and debris. A lack of routine maintenance on the coils can lead to higher energy bills and consumption or an overheating AC system.
Unfortunately, the air conditioner does have some maintenance that goes along with it and you will need to keep it in the best possible condition to have it working smoothly and effectively. While there are many parts to an air conditioner, the AC coils are essential to the cooling process and need to be cleaned and maintained effectively.
AC coils are broken into 2 different types. The evaporator coil is the main part responsible for giving you cool air. Air also goes through the condenser coils which is the second part of the cooling process. Despite what many people believe, the air-conditioner does not cool the air. It actually just removes the heat from the air.
The evaporator coil will extract the heat as it passes through and then, through the help of a refrigerant, enable you to have cold air. The heat is extracted and released outdoors while your home is kept cooler. The fan that is included on top will blow the hot air over the condenser coils and this releases some of the heat from the refrigerant before it is passed outside. These two coils need to remain in optimal condition for your air conditioner to have an effective cooling process.
Dirt, dust, and debris are all negative things and enemies of the AC coils. On the condenser side of things, yard waste, leaves, and even dirt will get caught in the coils and begin to build up. Once this starts happening, the refrigerant cannot cool off enough. This causes the system to slow down and work harder to keep the home at the set temperature.
Given enough build-up, the airflow will dwindle to nothing, and this can cause the condenser components to overheat. In extreme cases, the compressor, fan motor, and the capacitor can fail, resulting in costly repairs.
On the inside at the evaporator, dirty coils can spell disaster. Imagine walking into your hallway or your bathroom and stepping in a wet spot, only to look up and see water droplets on your evaporator access panel.
A dirty coil can clog the airflow, making heat transfer challenging. It can also cause the refrigerant to freeze the coils (see below for more details) and leak everywhere when it finally melts. Another thing dirty coils in the AC evaporator will do is deposit the dirt into the drain pain, eventually clogging the drain pipe.