The Role of an Evaporator Coil in Commercial HVAC Equipment and How it Relates to Energy Efficiency and Extends Equipment Life


SD ATLAS HVAC Maintained Evaporator Coil
SD ATLAS HVAC Maintained Evaporator Coil


A regular HVAC preventative maintenance program and energy efficiency goes hand in hand.  It is in these routine checks where problems, like dirty evaporator coils, can be found.  A dirty evaporator coil will reduce cooling capacity and degrade equipment energy efficiency over time.  When an evaporator coil becomes plugged it reduces air flow through the system and in the process it causes the compressor motor to work harder and thus consume more energy.  Replacing filters on a regular basis will help keep the evaporator coil clean, which will ultimately increase equipment efficiency, help preserve equipment life and lower operating costs.


What is an Evaporator Coil?

The evaporator coil is one of two coils in an air conditioning unit.  It is responsible for cooling the air as it passes over the equipments fan.  An evaporator consists of copper tubes with aluminum fins; the constant air flow causes the coil to become dirty.  Accumulated dust, pollen, dirt, grass clippings, pet hair, and moisture can have very negative effects on the evaporator coil.  Scheduled preventative maintenance and regular cleanings are strongly recommended to prevent deterioration and create better indoor air quality.  Depending on the pollution and air quality surrounding the equipment, monthly cleaning may be required to keep your evaporator coil free of blockages.


Evaporator Coils and Energy Efficiency

It is a proven that dirty evaporator coils make an air conditioning unit less efficient.  In fact, a dirty evaporator coil can cause utility bills to go up significantly.  A dirty coil cannot provide the proper heat transfer, causing the air conditioning unit to use more energy.  HVAC equipment with dirty evaporator coils can use up to 35 percent more energy than those with clean coils, and reduce cooling capacity as much as 30 percent.  A less-efficient system is harmful to the environment and raises utility costs along with unwanted service calls in the peak summer heat.

Evaporator Coils and Indoor Air Quality


A dirty evaporator coil can have negative effects on indoor air quality; it can also cause your air conditioner to spread mold, dust and allergens into the air.  The entire surface of the evaporator coil is constantly moist with condensation, making it the perfect place to harbor germs and bacteria.  Without the proper maintenance, moisture around the evaporator coil becomes a breeding ground for bacteria and mold.  Mold spores released into the air can be harmful to your health.  Dust released into the air from a dirty evaporator coil can aggravate allergies.


Evaporator Coils and HVAC Preventative Maintenance

Without a proper scheduled heating & air conditioning (HVAC) preventative maintenance program, a dirty evaporator coil can ultimately lead an air conditioner to fail.  Increased temperature and pressure can cause problems breaking down the compressor’s lubricant.  The evaporator coil will freeze, causing compression failure. A failed compressor means the system is no longer capable of cooling.  System failure can be costly.  To avoid costly break downs, have your system serviced on a quarterly basis with filter changes.


SD ATLAS HVAC strongly believes in HVAC preventative maintenance programs to ensure proper operation and energy efficiency.  We specialize in this area and would like to help you extend your equipments life and provide better indoor air quality.  SD ATLAS HVAC proudly serves Vancouver, Langley, Surrey, White Rock, the entire lower mainland and the Fraser Valley.  Contact us at to set up free quotation for all of your HVAC needs including service and repairs; we are here to help you.


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