The hot summer months are a bad time to have an air conditioner stop working. The cost of replacing an air conditioner can be high, so you should be doing everything in your power to preserve the unit that is already installed in your home.
Routine AC maintenance can keep your unit in working condition and extend the life of this important HVAC system. Since the condenser unit is located outside your home, this AC component can be easy to overlook. Invest some time in taking care of your condenser unit to ensure that your AC system blows cold and runs efficiently.
Clean the Condenser
A condenser can easily become dirty because of its outdoor location. Dirt, leaves, small branches, and other debris can find their way into the condenser and clog up your AC system.
You will need to give your condenser a thorough cleaning on a regular basis to preserve the function of your AC system and maintain the quality of the air it distributes through your home.
Remove the cap from the condenser and use a canister vacuum to eliminate any loose debris. Wipe down all surfaces within the condenser, including the fan blades and the motor housing. A clean condenser can improve AC efficiency over time.
Repair the Fins
The visible part of the condenser is a series of metal prongs that protect the condenser coil against the elements. Fin blades can be quite delicate, and it is possible for these fins to sustain damage over time.
You can invest in a fin comb that can be used to straighten out any blades that have been bent by flying debris, balls, or other projectiles. If you don't have a fin comb handy, you can use a butter knife to gently smooth out the surface of each fin blade to ensure maximum protection for your condenser in the future.
Inspect the Insulation
A critical line that transfers liquid refrigerant through your AC system is located inside the condenser. It is important that this line be covered with a thick layer of insulation to keep the refrigerant cold.
Sun exposure and excessive amounts of moisture can cause the insulation to break down, leaving the line vulnerable and reducing the efficiency of your AC system. Inspect the insulation often. Replace the insulation layer at the first sign of damage to extend the life of your AC system well into the future.