Even a new, energy efficient air conditioner will not be fully efficient if the coils are not kept clean. Luckily, basic coil maintenance is quick and affordable. You don't need to be an HVAC professional to improve the efficiency of your AC system. This article briefly explains how AC condenser coils work and how to best maintain them.
What And Where Are The Condenser Coils
The coils are easy to identify. They line the outside walls of the unit. Usually, the coils are protected by the metal cage around the unit. Most units can be cleaned, without removing this cage. The coils are lined with aluminum sheets that have tiny ridges. These ridges are often called fins. The space in between the fins can get clogged with dirt and grime since they are exposed to the elements.
The coils are a key aspect of the heat transfer while the AC is running. Most central HVAC systems work in two ways. Not only does the air conditioner blow cool air into the home, it also sucks warm air out of the house and away from the motor of the condenser. The coils, when clean and straight, help transfer the warm air out of the house, where the heat is released on the outside of the home.
How To Clean The Coils
In order to clean your coils, you first need to unplug the power to the unit. Next, spray down the coils with water. Then, spray on a light all-purpose metal cleaner. You can even find condenser coil cleaning sprays, but these are more expensive and harder to find. Most basic cleaners will work just as well. No matter what you use, you will need to let the cleaner sit on the coils for a bit to help break down the dirt. Finally, you can spray them down with a strong stream of water. Don't use an extremely high-pressure nozzle (or pressure washer) because it could actually bend the coils. As you spray, make sure you are not bending the coils.
Even a moderately dirty condenser unit will produce a little bit of dirt in the runoff. Even this simple cleaning can improve the operation and efficiency of your AC unit. This is a great DIY project that you should quickly do at the beginning of every summer before you start to use your AC on a daily basis. If you need some help with your AC system, consider contacting companies like Childers Enterprises Inc.