Are Your Coils Clean??

Home Inspector with B4 U Close Home Inspections&Radon Testing (

Are Your Coils Clean??

Can your heating and cooling breath like it's supposed too?  It will if you change your filters regularly.  Do YOU?

When I'm doing a Frankfort, Kentucky Home Inspection, I can't always get to the coils to see them, but I can almost always get my camera into the blower fan compartment to see what conditions are inside the unit.  The blades should be fairly clean.  When I can see the coils they should also look clean, kind of like the fins on your car's radiator.

Obviously, someone wasn't changing their filters on this unit.

This system isn't breathing very well.  Though a little heat leaked through.

Georgetown Kentucky Home Inspector Dirty Blower Fan

Dirty blower fan

Georgetown Kentucky Home Inspector Dirty HVAC Coils

Coils mostly blocked with crud.

The blower fan blades are covered with crud, reducing the energy efficiency.  The coil is mostly blocked with crud, mud, pet hair and whatever other components make up this crud.

It's possible to restore the systems energy efficiency by having an HVAC technician remove the fan and coils, clean them, and replace them.  BUT, it's likely to cost $400.00 to $500.00 to have this done.

My usual diagnosis: 

The main blower fan blades are dirty which impedes the operating efficiency of the unit.  This has also usually allowed dust to come in contact with the wet air conditioning coils.  Wet plus dust equals mud on the coils equals coils being partially blocked.  I can't see the coils to verify this though.   I recommend that you have the heating and cooling unit serviced and cleaned (to include removal and cleaning of both the fan and the coils) by a qualified heating and air conditioning contractor.

Changing your filters on a regular basis is much easier and less expensive from both repair cost and energy cost standpoints.





Posted by



Erby Crofutt
KY Lic# HI-2041
B4 U Close Home Inspections & Radon Testing
Georgetown, KY


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Thank You for the outstanding job you did on the inspection.  We bought and sold 9 houses and this was the only inspection that was ever done properly.  It was helpful and we will use it to do the repairs with a system, instead of the guess work we usually do.  Thanks again

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Comments (4)

Karen Fiddler, Broker/Owner
Karen Parsons-Fiddler, Broker 949-510-2395 - Mission Viejo, CA
Orange County & Lake Arrowhead, CA (949)510-2395

Oh...thought this was about getting plenty of But on a more serious level, we need to keep our home clean, including filters, vents etc....just a safe thing to do, and better for our utility bills too, I would guess.

Feb 04, 2012 03:53 AM
David Popoff
DMK Real Estate - Darien, CT
Realtor®,SRS, Green ~ Fairfield County, Ct

Also do not forget to clean the coils on your refrigerator once a year. I usually do it when I am changing my air filters, 2X a yr.

Feb 04, 2012 04:31 AM
Erby Crofutt
B4 U Close Home Inspections&Radon Testing ( - Lexington, KY
The Central Kentucky Home Inspector, Lexington KY

Well Karen, we do have to keep those coils cleaned too!  But this one was in the home. :)

Uh, twice a year David?  Might want to stick a camera in your unit and reconsider.  I've seen several that looked just like the ones above that were being 'economical" by using those six month filters.


Feb 04, 2012 10:07 AM
Atlanta's Home Inspector, David Lelak IHI Home Inspections
IHI Home Inspections 404-788-2581 - Canton, GA
Experience the IHI Difference

Cleaning the furnace filters is one of the easiest, yet most overlooked (or more likely procrastinated) tasks. Great picture to illustrate what is floating around in the home if not cleaned. Also, great mention of the efficiency factor. :)

Feb 15, 2012 04:47 AM