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Why It Is Important to Have Your HVAC System Cleaned Before Winter!


As we close our windows, turn on the heat, and prepare for the colder weather, it should be a top priority to think about the quality of the air inside your home. Many pollutants can get into our systems throughout the season, but these pollutants do not have a way out. This can contribute to many problems, including headaches, allergies, flu-like symptoms, and lightheadedness.

Staying on top of furnace cleaning throughout the winter season is essential to reliably heat your home and keep a healthy indoor air quality. Dust and debris covering the parts inside your blower compartment and ductwork compromise the entire system and can lead to safety problems.

Learn why it’s important to clean HVAC coils and what to look out for when issues within your heating system arise.

Dirty Condenser Coil Symptoms

When it comes to enhancing energy efficiency, improving the air that you breathe, and saving money, a coil-cleaning program should be an integral part of maintaining your HVAC system.

If not cleaned annually, dirty condenser coils can cause many problems, including:

  • Increased Energy Consumption: Dirty HVAC coils can increase energy consumption by approximately 37 percent.
  • Disruption in Heat Transfer: When a coil is dirty, it can no longer provide the designed heat transfer, causing higher discharge pressure and increased energy usage. This leads to increased utility costs.
  • Strained Compressor: When the coils are dirty, the compressor needs to work harder, which adds excessive heat to the system and can result in a loss of up to 30 percent of the system’s cooling capacity.
  • Poor Air Quality: Dirty coils create a breeding ground for mold and bacteria, directly affecting the indoor air quality.
  • Decreased HVAC Equipment Life: The increased workload, operating pressures, and temperatures that dirty coils cause can significantly shorten the life of your HVAC equipment. Replacing a compressor is a fairly expensive repair.

Over time, HVAC equipment will fall into differing levels of disrepair, leading to energy waste, compromised comfort, and other common problems. The condenser and evaporator coils are, to a large extent, where much of the work gets done in an HVAC system. Partnering with professionals who know how to clean HVAC coils is essential to ensure your unit’s performance.

Clean Condenser Coils

The condenser coil is exposed to unfiltered outdoor air, so it will accumulate dirt and debris at a predictable and consistent rate from year to year. Because of this continued accumulation of dirt, keeping the evaporator coil clean is important and essential.

Studies have shown that unmaintained condenser coils can decrease overall unit efficiency by five percent in 15 years and 30 percent in 20 years. Monitoring the cleaning and the amount of dirt and debris that is removed will quickly tell you if it is necessary to do it on an annual basis.

Clean Evaporator Coils

The evaporator coil is quite a bit different in that it is only exposed to your indoor air. The rate of dirt and debris build-up can be far slower if your furnace or air handler has a good air filtration system, such as an electronic air cleaner, and if your ducts are clean and sealed.

However, if you don’t have an air cleaner and use one-inch disposable filters, then your evaporator coil can become a breeding ground for bacteria and mold, and the impact on efficiency and operation can be significant. An evaporator coil that is compromised by dirt and debris will inhibit both airflow and heat transfer, causing a substantial reduction in temperature control and overall efficiency.

One of the most important tasks on a winter maintenance checklist is cleaning the HVAC coils. During a routine furnace and heating maintenance service, HVAC technicians will clean your coils and other components of your system. The best time to have your unit cleaned is in the fall, right before the winter season.

Contact us today at GAC Services, and we’ll make sure that your furnace or heat pump is ready for the Maryland winters. Our experienced technicians offer winter HVAC maintenance throughout Gaithersburg, Frederick County, Montgomery County, and Howard County, Maryland. Speak to one of our experts today and tell us about your HVAC concerns and needs.

Financing Options Available

At GAC, we understand how important a functioning HVAC system is for your home. This is why we offer flexible financing options to help you take care of your new HVAC purchase, so you can get back to taking care of what matters most to you.

Priority Maintenance

A well-maintained HVAC system can save you from having to invest in costly repairs down the road. Learn more about the priority maintenance services offered by GAC Services.