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cleaning coil

Even though alot of companies use power washers which i object to compleatly , i have always had great results with a hand pump chemical sprayer ,graingers has a good acid restintance one just remenber to always hose it out and sprasy fresh water through it after each use or end of the day .I have found that vapco is one of the best coil cleaners it is non acid but a little hard to find this stuff works excellent on greasey refregeration condenser coils and a/c condenser and evap coils .I know on furnces it can be quite hard i always try to sell a good hepa or eac on all my furnace and split systems a clkean evap coil is a happy one .When cleaniong seasons comes i also have a small back blower that doubles as a leaf vacume works great on removing all the little stuff that settlers inside the condensing unit and then just blow all that extra mulch out of the way to .Usually afet a good spraying of coil cleaner i just hose it off with fresh water and on a evap i set up a small wet vac and use another sprayer with fresh water after the chemicals have cleaned away any dirt .peace and good luck clammy
R.A. Calmbacher L.L.C. HVAC
NJ Master HVAC Lic.
Mahwah, NJ
Specializing in steam and hydronic heating


  • jeff_79
    jeff_79 Member Posts: 1

    Whats the best way to clean evap and condensor coils. Also what should be included in annual a/c servise? Thanks for any feedback.
  • Mark_46
    Mark_46 Member Posts: 312

    As far as condensors, I think the typical method is to hose out (light pressure) any debris from the fins typically at the coils closest to the ground. Care should be taken not to bend the fins as this would restirct air flow through them reducing efficiency/capacity. Does anybody know of recommended solutions to add to the water?

    As for evaporators, thats a little more tricky as they are mounted inside the air handlers and would require refrigerant line disconnetion in order to remove. That in turn would require system evacuation and recharging. I dont think cleaning evaps are standard practice.
  • Brad White_9
    Brad White_9 Member Posts: 2,440
    Foam Cleaners

    The best way I know is using foam coil cleaners made for the purpose. Johnstone's would have it as might Grainger.

    As for annual service, I would leave that to others.

  • Mark_46
    Mark_46 Member Posts: 312

    Interesting, wasn't sure a solution exsisted but suspected so. I too intend on cleaning my condensors before each cooling season and am interested in best-practice approach.

    I found some stuff at Graingers that is pretty affordable. Probably doubles as a weed killer for the surrounding area too :)
  • Charles G.
    Charles G. Member Posts: 113

    Any number of vendors including Virginia Chemicals and Nu-Calgon make evaporator and condensing coil cleaners. Evap. cleaners are typically non- or self-rinsing. Condensing cleaners are acid or non-acidic.
    But from the tone of your question, I gaither you're not qualified service. In that case, stick with the garden hose on the outside unit and try not to hurt yourself.
  • jim lockard
    jim lockard Member Posts: 1,059

    If you can access the indoor coil without tearing out the furnace, then clean it with a mixture of vinegar and water in a spray bottle. vinegar is nontoxic and you will not have to explain to your wife why the kids are acting weird. As for the outside coil maybe a little car wash soap. Jeff we have chemicals that will remove the paint from a garbage truck, but they are best keep out of your home. Best Wishes J.Lockard
  • lekpeter
    lekpeter Member Posts: 35
    \"great room\" cathedral ceiling

    When calculating the cooling load for a "great room" 16'x16'x 28' feet high, what would one assume for a ceiling height?

  • lekpeter
    lekpeter Member Posts: 35
    \"great room\" cathedral ceiling

    When calculating the cooling load for a "great room" 16'x16'x 28' feet high, what would one assume for a ceiling height?


  • Brad White_9
    Brad White_9 Member Posts: 2,440
    You might want

    to post this as a new thread so it does not get lost...and you can get other answers to further round out your work or to further confuse you :)

    That said, I would figure the volume (I assume a peaked roof or ceiling?) and divide by the floor area. Then you have an average.

    For reasons of transmission and solar gains, it is all area per exposure...
  • Empire_2
    Empire_2 Member Posts: 2,343
    Brad is on to it...

    Do you have a "A" style ceiling or Vault?

    Mike T.
  • Cosmo_3
    Cosmo_3 Member Posts: 845
    How bout Steam?

    When I clean Evaporators, I usually use a foaming product designed specifically for evaporators. However I am a little cautious, and do not clean w/ foam every year because I am afraid of corroding the coil over time.... the cleaner is rinsed away by the condensate for the most part, but not completely, IMHO.

    I always thought that maybe the best answer was a portable steam cleaner, even like the kind I see on the infomercials...but I wonder how safe they are.... as in KABOOOOOOM! I am sure that there are good tradesman quality steam cleaners for coils out there somewhere.

    Anyone have any experience w/ steam cleaning coils? If so, what brand steam cleaner do you use?

  • jeb
    jeb Member Posts: 46

    I clean my coil with a pressure washer.
  • Brad White_91
    Brad White_91 Member Posts: 25
    Have you not found that the pressure washer

    mashes the fins into a sheet of striated aluminum pulp?

    I have seen plate fin coils in large air handlers all but destroyed by careless application of a pressure wand, let alone fuzzy-fin condenser coils and the thin-wall stuff in most residential equipment.

    I always specify a foam cleaner in both directions then follow with a clear water low pressure rinse.

    My $0.02

  • Eugene Silberstein
    Eugene Silberstein Member Posts: 1,380
    Calling Jeff Lawrence

    Jeff does a ton of evaporator coil cleaning and, by the looks of his work, he does a great job...

    Hey Jeff.... What are you using to clean those nasties?
  • Paul Fredricks_3
    Paul Fredricks_3 Member Posts: 1,549

    The last commercial company I worked for used pressure washers. If you get to close you can make a mess. When done correctly they do an amazing job at clearing out those center loaded coils. On residential equipment it may be over kill and may damage the fins more easily.
  • Eugene Silberstein
    Eugene Silberstein Member Posts: 1,380

    Where are you?
This discussion has been closed.


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