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Prescott Air Conditioning Maintenance - How to Inspect and Clean the Condenser Coil

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How to Inspect and Clean the Condenser Coil

Most people may not realize what to look for when it comes to their condenser. This is the outdoor air conditioning unit that is meant to be out in the weather. Actually, if you cover it up incorrectly, you could hamper it’s performance or damage the system! Read On to learn how to inspect and clean the condenser coil!

  1. Your unit needs to breathe. Do not put anything above it if you don’t have to. If you want to build over it, please allow at least 5 feet of room. This unit throws the heated air from your home through the top portion in order to cool. Building something closer forces the hot air back down into the unit and can overheat it causing it to shut off. This is a guaranteed way to shorten the life of your condensing unit while costing you more to run.

  2. Keep an 8″ to 12″ buffer between your unit and any plants, bushes, storage units etc. Any closer and it is like suffocating your radiator while expecting to cross the desert and have no problems arise! Another way to explain it is to try to dry a load of wet towels when the dryer filter is full! You will overwork your unit and it won’t be able to do it’s job properly. This will also shorten the life of your air conditioning unit.

  3. Keep animals and sprinklers away from your unit. We have replaced many units that should have worked for 5-10 years or more just from a sprinkler being aimed at the unit, causing it to deteriorate before it’s time. Animals urinating on a unit will cause an even faster rate of corrosion. This usually ends up damaging the refrigerant coils beyond repair.

  4. Be sure the unit has a couple inches of clearance from dirt or cement. Some older units we see have bark, dirt or rocks at or above the bottom of the unit. This causes corrosion and it blocks a portion of the refrigerant coils. You do not want the bottom of the unit to stay wet or dirty. The water from rain or rinsing needs to be able to drain freely.

  5. Make sure your dryer vent isn’t next to your unit. Your unit draws air in from the sides and the fins get plugged up very quickly. This again is like trying to dry a load of wet towels with the dryer filter full. Running your dryer when your unit isn’t running is good, but rerouting your vent is best. Some people move their A/C’s for different reasons, be sure not to move yours next to your dryer vent!

  6. How to clean your condensing coil, first pull the disconnect or turn off electricity at the main panel. Using your hose at a 45 degree angle, rinse your unit. Do not use a strong/jet spray or you can bend the fins causing air blockages. Avoid the electrical panel on the unit. You mainly want to get the fins clear of debris, be it dirt, hair, lawn clippings etc. You can do this as often as you see fit. With dry hands, flip the breaker back on or replace the disconnect.

 

Any questions, or do you need HVAC repairs, contact Rich of Prescott Air Conditioning and Heating Repair today! Call 928-308-1254 or schedule a free assessment of your unit.

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