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Cleaning Your Condenser Coil

The outdoor condenser coil of your air conditioner performs a rigorous job when the weather is warm. It takes the concentrated heat collected from your home and throws it into the hot outdoor air. To get rid of the collected heat, your outdoor condenser coil has to move a lot of air. If the coil is dirty or if plants or other objects are too close to the conditioner unit, the fan in the outdoor coil can’t move as much air as required for good performance and efficiency. This not only raises your cost of energy but also will eventually compromise the life of the outdoor condensing unit.

Be sure to remove plants and other debris from within 3 feet of the unit in all directions. Around the outdoor condensing unit of the air conditioner. Make sure the air’s upward path in leaving the unit is unrestricted for at least 5 feet. If your outdoor unit is installed under a deck or if someone built a trellis or some other structure above it, either move that structure or hire an air-conditioning contractor to move the outdoor unit.

Most condenser coils are loaded with pollen and dust even when you can’t see it. The longest a condenser should go without cleaning is 2 years, depending on how much it operates during the summer. If your cooling season is 4 months or more, annual cleaning is a great idea. When cleaning t he unit be sure to turn off the power and remove any visible grass and lint from the fins and/or louvers with an old hairbrush or whisk broom. Then put on a pair of rubber gloves and spray biodegradable outdoor coil cleaner into the coil. Wait five or ten minutes and flush the coil with a gentle water spray.

If the aluminum fins on the outside of your outdoor coil have dirt, leaves, or lint stuck to them, it’s time to clean the coil. If the coil is very dirty, it’s better to have a professional clean it. Before doing any cleaning work, shut the unit off at its main switch outside near the unit.

An old hairbrush works well for brushing surface dirt and lint off the fins. Brush in the same direction as the slots between the fins so the bristles go between the fins. You can do a better job if you remove the guard grill, which protects the coil. Wear a dust mask to avoid breathing the dust. When you have finished brushing out as much of the dirt as you can, spray a heavy-duty household cleanser into the coils. Let the cleanser sit for five minutes. Then, direct a light spray from a garden hose at the coil’s interior through the fan opening in the top of the unit. Use a gentle spray because a strong spray could bend the aluminum fins.

Regular cleaning of your outdoor condenser unit is essential to the efficiency of your air conditioning system. We have provided the above cleaning information as a guideline. If you have any questions or we can assist you in any way, please contact Air Repair Inc. at 972-625-1400.

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