Your air conditioner’s condenser unit plays a crucial role in your home’s comfort level. Without it, there would be no way for your unit to release built-up heat and continue cooling your Fort Worth, TX, home.
But dirty condenser coils can leave your HVAC system vulnerable to several issues. From equipment failure to expensive efficiency problems, you can save yourself hassle and money by taking a few minutes to clean your AC condenser coils.
What Role Does the Condenser Play in My HVAC?
To understand the role of your condenser, you must understand how your AC system works. The cooling cycle is powered by your AC system’s refrigerant, which flows back and forth between the evaporator and condenser coils.
The refrigerant in your evaporator coils absorbs the heat from the air that passes over them, in turn cooling the air. From the evaporator coil, the warm refrigerant gas enters your condenser through copper tubing.
After it enters the condenser, it goes through the compressor to pressurize the gas and spreads out through your condenser’s many coils, where it’s cooled into a liquid form. It then travels back to the evaporator coils through copper tubing, and the cycle continues.
As the refrigerant cools down in the condenser coils, the heat that was absorbed is released and blown away from your unit by the fan on top.
Does Cleaning AC Coils Really Help?
Many homeowners in Fort Worth, TX, pay little mind to their condenser coils and figure that something as minor as wiping away dust couldn’t have much impact on their air conditioner’s performance. Don’t fall for this common misconception.
Clearing debris from your condenser coils allows for better airflow, which means your system doesn’t have to work as hard to remove heat. This improves your unit’s energy efficiency and saves you money in the process.
Cleaning your condenser coils also extends the life of your unit and its parts. When the coils get dirty or clogged it can put additional strain on other parts of your system, causing them to wear down prematurely.
Can I Clean My AC Coils Myself?
Yes! Although most AC maintenance must be carried out by a professional, cleaning your condenser coils is something you can do on your own whenever they need a little TLC.
To get started, disconnect the power supply to your condenser and inspect the coils for signs of damage. If you notice any coils that are damaged, stop what you’re doing and call your trusted local HVAC contractor.
If there are no signs of damage, you’re good to continue to the next step of removing debris from the AC condenser coils and fins. Dirt, twigs, grass, leaves, and other substances can find their way into your condenser and clog things up. Using a coil brush, you can easily remove large pieces of debris.
Next, spray your unit down with a garden hose and apply cleaner. There are dozens of coil cleaners on the market, or you can make your own using a simple solution of dish detergent and distilled water. Allow the cleaning solution to soak for five to ten minutes and then rinse it off.
If you’re using a homemade solution, you may have to use a brush and a little bit of elbow grease to clean your coils before rinsing them off.
How Often Should I Clean My Coils?
You should visually inspect your outdoor condenser unit at least once a month and clean the coils as needed. Most professionals recommend cleaning your condenser coils at least once a year, but if you live in an area with high levels of pollen or air pollution, your unit will probably require more frequent cleanings.
Additional AC Maintenance Tips
Cleaning your AC condenser coils is just one part of a healthy AC maintenance routine. You should also keep the following tips in mind to extend the life of your AC system.
Change Your Filters Regularly
Your air filters are your HVAC system’s first line of defense against dust and allergens in the air. It’s important to check your filters regularly and change them as needed. They usually need to be changed about every three months, but that can vary from house to house.
Schedule a Professional Tune-Up
A professional tune-up includes more thorough cleaning than what you do yourself. An annual tune-up is one of the best and most cost-effective ways to ensure your air conditioner is running at its best and ready for anything.
If your air conditioner hasn’t had a tune-up in the last year, contact the pros at Comfort Experts to schedule a comprehensive professional tune-up today.