Ready For Spring? Put This AC Cleaning Job On Your List First

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With spring just around the corner, you may already have a long list of things you need to do around your house. But the first thing you should put on your list is cleaning your outdoor AC unit (condenser). Plants can grow close to or over the condenser unit during the fall, winter, and spring. If you don't do something about your condenser unit now, it might not work properly when summer arrives. Learn how to clean your condenser unit below.

Clear a Path Around the Condenser Pad

Plants can grow around, over, and under the condenser pad supporting the condenser unit during the winter. If the plants grow high enough to enter, cover, or block the coil inside the unit, it won't have enough space or airflow to operate properly. 

If there are weeds and other plants growing around the condenser pad, remove them immediately. Use garden sheers or a weeder to remove stubborn plants from the soil. There should be at least 2 to 3 feet of space between your condenser unit's pad and plants. 

Once you remove the plants, inspect the condenser pad for cracks, holes, and other issues. If the pad appears damaged, stop and contact an air conditioning repair technician for assistance. Condenser pads can settle and sink into the soil over time. If the pad appears in good shape, take time to unclog the condenser coil.

Unclog the Unit's Coil

The condenser coil lies just behind the unit's cage, or housing. On the surface of the coil are tiny tooth-like structures called fins. The fins allow heat to escape the coil and cool air to circulate back into it. If dirt and pieces of other debris clog up the fins, the unit will fail to work as expected.

First, disconnect all electrical power to the condenser coil. Gently lift or unscrew the cage from around the condenser coil. Place the cage in a safe place to keep from damaging it. Next, carefully spray a small stream of water over the surface of the coil. You can use a spray bottle or garden hose for this step. If the fins remain clogged, use a soft toothbrush to clean them. You may need to wash out the coil again to ensure that it's clean.

After you finish cleaning the coil, inspect the unit's fan. If the fan is dirty, gently wipe it off with a cloth, then replace the cage. If the fan appears bent, warped, or in general disrepair, contact your local air conditioning contractor for repairs.

If you don't think it's possible for you to clean the unit's coil or fan, speak to an AC contractor right away.

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28 February 2019

HVAC System Repair Guides

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