There’s a lot of talk about the best way to clean micro channel coils. However to clean them properly you need to understand them better. Here’s a really quick overview of micro channel technology and how to best to clean micro channel coils.
What are micro channel coils?
In short, micro channel coils have flat tubes with tiny channels or tunnels running through them. These tunnels carry the refrigerant. What’s different is that in traditional coils there was only one larger tube, generally round that carried refrigerant. By operating a flat tube with multiple tunnels in it, overall surface volume is dramatically increased. This allows the system to be dramatically more efficient. Now, these coils are also made from aluminum, which offers some superior corrosion protection over copper or copper/aluminum mixes and other materials. For more in-depth information on what micro channel coil technology is, click this link to the carrier web site.
How can I best clean micro channel coils?
Carefully. That’s the best way. For one, if you want to use a coil cleaner chemical, make sure it is not acidic or overly alkaline. A foaming coil cleaner like SpeedyFoam or even better, Power Coil Clean from BBJ which is pH neutral are your best bets.
Second, if you want to use any pressurized water or water/cleaner mix make sure you are using a specialized machine or nozzle to do so. If you are cleaning condenser units with thick micro channel coils (over 1″) a combination of medium water pressure and high water volume is the best mix for thick coils. Thinner micro channel coils (less than 1″) require less water volume, but still at least 100 psi pf cleaning pressure. Direct spray pressure exceeding 140 psi without a specially designed spray pattern nozzle will cause your fins to fold.
For evaporator coils, using a coil cleaner that uses as little water as possible, but offers 100 psi or more is preferred. It gives you plenty of cleaning power, but won’t overwhelm condensate pans and pumps.
The bottom line is that you should have the right tool for the right job when cleaning micro channel coils. You want to make sure your spray is in a fan pattern and is angled directly onto the fins.
We recommend the following products
CoilJet CJ-95 – Portable coil cleaning system, 100 psi, 1/2 GPM
CoilPro CC-140 – Rolling coil cleaning system, 140 psi, 2 GPM
Condenser Needle – Garden hose attachment, 60-90 pis, 3 GPM
Wonder Wand Pressure Washer Kit – Pressure Washer Attachment