How to Clean Condenser Coils on Central Air Conditioners

Clean Condenser Coils Ensure a Safe and Efficient HVAC System!

When the condenser coils of your central air conditioner are coated with dirt and grime, its operational costs increase. Research suggests that you can improve the efficiency of your central cooling system by 16% just by keeping the condenser coils clean.

Keeping your air conditioning unit clean and well-maintained is possibly the best way to improve its efficiency and save on your monthly bills. Not only will it reduce the energy consumption and save on your monthly bills, but clean condenser coils will make your air conditioning unit last longer and keep it running efficiently.

Nevertheless, care needs to be taken when cleaning air conditioning coils, as improper cleaning may cause permanent damage to your air conditioning unit. Even worse, harmful bacteria can grow and multiply in an air conditioning unit that is not maintained properly, causing serious health risks such as asthma, nausea, and more.

Air Conditioner Condensers – What You Need to Know?

The condenser is perhaps the most important part of an air conditioning unit. It collects concentrated heat from your indoor space and takes it outside. As such, a lot of air movement takes place to get rid of this concentrated heat. In order to perform this job, the condensing unit needs to be perfectly clean; a dirty condensing unit will consume extra energy to get the job done.

Since the condensing unit is placed outdoors, it is very easy for dirt, grass, and leaves (if plants are too close) to get into the condensing unit and clog it. And if the coil is not clean, the fan in the condensing unit won’t be able to push out as much air as is required for optimum performance and efficient running. This will not only raise your electricity cost but may also shorten the life span of your condensing unit.

Therefore, the first step that you should take to keep your condensing unit clean is to cut away any weeds or plants that might block the flow of air around the unit.

Before Cleaning the Condenser Coils

When removing  debris, plants, or any objects that may cause problems, be sure to keep the area within three feet of the condenser free of any obstructions. Also, make sure that the upward path of the air from the condenser is unobstructed for at least five feet.

In most cases, the condenser coils are clogged with dust and pollen even when it is not visible to the eye. If you use your air conditioning unit for a longer period, it is best to get it cleaned at least once a year. However, if your summers are long, it is a good idea to get your condensing unit cleaned more than once per year.

Cleaning Condenser Coils – The Steps Involved

  1. Needless to say, the first and perhaps the most important thing you need to remember before cleaning condenser coils is to turn off the power supply to your air conditioning unit.
  2. Next, get rid of any visible obstructions, such as leaves, grass, and dirt from the fins using a whisk broom. Work in the same direction as the fins so that these are cleaned properly.
  3. To make sure that the slots between the fins are cleaned properly,  remove the grill that guards the coil. Wear a mask when performing this task.
  4. Next, spray some coil cleaner into the condenser coil. Give it a good five minutes, and wash it with a water spray. Make sure you use a gentle spray since a strong spray may cause harm to your aluminum fins.
  5. Adjust the fins using a fin comb or a screw driver if the fins are bent. Work carefully to prevent damage to the fins while trying to straighten them.
  6. Once you’ve gone through all of these steps, you can turn on the power to your air conditioning unit and enjoy a much more efficient and smooth-running air conditioning unit.

Contacting a Professional Service

While you can perform the task yourself, hiring a professional  for the  maintenance (and repair) of your HVAC system ensures quality service and maximize efficiency of your unit.



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