How To Clean Air Conditioner Condenser Coils
Palm Air AC|30 June 2016
If you have central air conditioning in your South Florida home, you have likely noticed the part of the system outside the house that has a big fan inside a metal box. That is the condenser unit. Refrigerant is pumped by a compressor inside the condenser unit through metal pipes that go inside your home. The part inside is the evaporator, and it is the cold side of the system. Heat is absorbed by the refrigerant as air flows over the evaporator inside, and it gets released into the outside air as it is pumped through the condenser. Dirty and blocked coils impair the heat exchange, resulting in reduced AC performance. Keeping the condenser coils and unit clean is important for the coolest and most efficient AC experience.
Before Cleaning AC Condenser Coils
- Disconnect the power to the condenser before cleaning. The fan can come on at any time.
- Inspect the outside unit for evidence of plants, such as vines, growing through the aluminum fins or through holes in the outer housing. Be careful with your inspection even when the power is off.
- Stinging insects, rodents and other wildlife may have found that the condenser makes an ideal neighborhood to take up residence. Carefully remove leaves and other debris.
- Know that the aluminum fins are very delicate and bend easily. You may wish to purchase a special tool to straighten them if more than just a few square inches are bent. The area around the condenser should not be blocked by anything.
Cleaning the Condenser Coils
Home supply centers and hardware stores often carry condenser cleaning chemicals that can remove a heavy buildup of grime. Some areas that have high levels of pollutants can significantly clog the free flow of air through the condenser, resulting in reduced air conditioner efficiency. Follow the label instructions on cleaners to the letter, and never use a pressure washer to clean an air conditioner condenser. Degreasers that are safe to use on aluminum, copper, steel, plastic, rubber components and painted surfaces should also be okay to use to clean a condenser. Water from a garden hose can be used to rinse away the cleaner. Be aware of runoff to protect plants, pets and children.
Palm Air AC Specialists Can Inspect and Clean Your HVAC System
Routine cleaning can usually be safely and efficiently performed on the outdoor condenser of a central air conditioning system by a homeowner who has some do-it-yourself experience. However, neglected condensers may need to be cleaned with an acid that requires professional application. The acid eats away years of buildup, but it does require technical expertise to safely protect the condenser and the environment. Also, the indoor evaporator unit that is hidden within the ductwork may also be very dirty. Dirt on an evaporator can cause the coils to freeze and block air flow. Evaporators need to be professionally cleaned.
If you need any help in the cleaning or maintenance of your central air conditioning system, contactthe team at Palm Air AC today.
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