Access Panel to Evaporator Coil


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Old 02-10-15, 09:43 AM
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Access Panel to Evaporator Coil

Regular reader but first post. This is carrier furnace model 58PAV whose evaporator coil has not been cleaned. I want to do the cleaning myself but need advice on how to take off the access panel to the coil. I have included some pictures to assist anyone who will like to help. Thanks.





 
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Old 02-10-15, 10:00 AM
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Welcome to the forums.

There may not be a removable panel to access the coil. Sometimes the coil gets cleaned from the bottom thru the heat exchanger. You may have to remove the entire box. Not a DIY friendly job.
 
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Old 02-10-15, 10:02 AM
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Doesn't appear as if you have an access panel which means that you will have to cut one.
 
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Old 02-10-15, 11:43 AM
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Thanks for responding to my question. With my kind of setup, am I looking at a lot of money to have an HVAC professional do the cleaning? I have been in the house for ten years and no cleaning has been done and believe the former owner did not clean it either. So, I know I am due for a cleaning.
 
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Old 02-10-15, 07:40 PM
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The evaporator coil will not be very serviceable even after they cut into that plenum box to get to your uncased coil.



If it is very dirty your tech will probably need to remove the coil to clean it outside of your house.




 
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Old 02-10-15, 07:43 PM
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I would pull the blower from the furnace and shine a flashlight up through the heat exchanger to view the evaporator coil before spending hundreds of dollars trying to gain access to the coil.



Removing the blower can be 4 wires and 2 screws with some furnaces.
 
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Old 02-11-15, 06:11 PM
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An opening into the outlet plenum has worked well for me. Wash the A-coil gently with a hose - the water and dirt falls into the condensate tray, and then drains out.

Here's one approach. Do you not have a whole-house humidifier, such as an AprilAire, but would like one? Make sure you don't damage the A-coil, and cut a hole for the humidifier, and install it. When you need to clean the A-coil, temporarily remove the humidifier and hose the coil out.
 
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Old 02-11-15, 07:01 PM
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Be careful not to wet the circuit board or fan motor or this project can get very expensive.

The discharge side of the coil is the clean side. It is better to wash from the discharge side if one used a water hose but inspect from the inlet side.

I wouldn't recommend using a water hose with a vertical coil without taking the coil outside first.

Compressed air, a shop vac or a brush and some newspaper would be safer.
 
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Old 02-12-15, 10:57 AM
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Thanks for all the responses. This project may be above my pay grade. I requested an estimate from an hvac outfit through email. The response was that they don't do indoor coil cleaning because it is time consuming and not worth the money for the home owner. He did not give me any $ figure which is understandable since he does not perform that service. I will try a different outfit and see what they have to say.
 
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Old 02-12-15, 03:10 PM
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The response was that they don't do indoor coil cleaning because it is time consuming and not worth the money for the home owner.
They may have a point, if you keep a good filter installed. During the air-conditioning season, the coils get rinsed by pure condensate. You could remove the fan and inspect the bottom side of the coils - if the bottom side is relatively clean, that tells you something.
 
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Old 02-12-15, 03:19 PM
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The Callahan/Roach flat rate price for a level 3 coil removal and cleaning is $670.00.
 
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Old 02-13-15, 08:25 AM
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I'd expect removing the coil would be a 2-man job - at least it would be for me. Then removing and recharging the Freon. $670 might be a reasonable price - but it might be a complete waste if your coils don't need cleaning, or if they could be cleaned in place by cutting in a simple access panel in the ductwork.

The cleanliness of the coils could be estimated by measuring the differential pressure across the coils - assuming you know he readings with clean coils, which you don't.
 
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Old 02-13-15, 11:59 AM
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So the fact that the coil is not easily accessible, is that an indication that this is not a regular maintenance job? Take the furnace air filter for example, it is easily accessible because they want you to replace it regularly. But then when you look at youtube, you see a lot of dirty coil needing cleaning. Most home owners will shy away from $670 maintenance job.
 
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Old 02-13-15, 12:25 PM
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But then when you look at youtube, you see a lot of dirty coil needing cleaning.
How did those people on YouTube clean their coils? How did they inspect them to determine that they were dirty in the first place?

The furnace manufacturer wouldn't have either installed or not installed an inspection panel in the ductwork. That would have been by the field installer of your sheet metal, and there's no telling what his thinking was. Why don't you just simply add an inspection panel yourself, and make it all a DIY job?
 
 

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