All air conditioner components operate more safely, reliably, and efficiently when they are clean and well-maintained. That’s why we recommend an AC system tune-up and cleaning once every year. The AC condenser, however, may need to be cleaned more often.
The condenser, which is the unit that sits outside your home, is exposed to dirt, debris, and weather all year round. So, even if you had professional maintenance done in the spring or early summer, dirt and debris can easily accumulate on the condenser before Atlanta’s long cooling season ends. This puts a strain on the unit and the entire AC system. It also makes it less effective at keeping your home comfortable.
Step-by-Step Instruction for Cleaning Your AC Condenser
If your condenser unit needs to be cleaned, you can contact a professional HVAC company or do it yourself by following five simple steps.
- Turn off power to the condenser at the breaker. You want to cut power to the unit, not simply turn off the AC at the thermostat.
- Remove the top of the condenser housing. The procedure for doing this varies from model to model, so you might need to follow instructions for your specific unit.
- Clear out any leaves or debris from inside the cabinet. You can do this by hand or with a vacuum. Just be sure not to hit the fins when doing this, as they can easily be bent.
- Spray the fins with an AC coil cleaner. Coil cleaner can be found at home improvement and hardware stores. Spray the fins from the inside and let sit for about 10 minutes. The foaming action loosens dirt and debris. (Be sure to follow the directions on the can of coil cleaner.)
- Gently rinse off the foam. Using a hose, gently spray off the foam from the inside, causing the foam to flow to the outside of the cabinet. Then spray off the outside of the unit. Remember that the coils can be damaged easily, so it is important that you do not use a strong, high-pressure stream of water.
Reassemble the top, restore power and you’re all set.
If you don’t feel comfortable cleaning the condenser yourself, or if you noticed any damage, such as bent fins or fan blades, you can always call on the HVAC pros at Comfort Zone.
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