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How To Tell When Your AC Condenser Coil Needs Cleaning

How To Tell When Your AC Condenser Coil Needs Cleaning

In many cases, knowing something needs to be done and being able to do it yourself are two different things.

If your home or business has an air conditioning system and it’s up to you to make sure it’s running at its optimal level, you probably know it will need routine maintenance. You’ve probably heard technicians say the refrigerant needs charging, or the condenser coil needs cleaning. But what does that truly mean? And how do you know when it needs to be done?

Your air conditioner’s condenser coils are some of the most important parts of the system. There are two types of coils in every air conditioning system: evaporator coils that absorb heat and humidity from the air, and condenser coils that expel the heat back outside your building.

In order for the coils to transfer heat effectively, all surfaces need to be clean. When the condenser coil is caked with dirt and grime, the heat gets trapped inside and can’t be released.

Since the condenser coil is part of the outside unit, it is subjected to more dirt and grime than it would be within your home. Even if your “outside” is a mechanical room for a business, it’s usually located in a section of the building where it allows in outdoor air. So the condenser coil is still subjected to the elements. And since these are “air” cooled coils, restricting the air flow through these units is detrimental to the equipment and your power bill.

You probably aren’t in the habit of looking at your air conditioner on a regular basis. If it works, you’re happy. But if it’s in an easy to reach place, you can look at the coil and determine its condition. Please note some coils look clean but can be severely impacted. It’s a long tube shaped into a coil with metal fins on the outside.

If it hasn’t been cleaned in a while, you’ll be able to tell immediately. You’ll see dirt and grime caked on. That’s the unit that conditions the air you breathe every day. All day long.

Not only is it impacting the air you breathe, but it’s also increasing your energy bills each month, and increasing the risk your system will break down easier, often at the most inopportune times.

As a general rule, your AC condenser coil needs to be cleaned twice per year. However, the more active your air conditioner is, the more of a workout you give it, and depending on where it’s located and what it’s subjected to every day, the more frequent the cleanings should be. Take into account:

  • The age of your system – older equipment is more prone to accumulating dirt faster
  • Your usage – the higher the load, the more dirt will accumulate
  • The location – the closer it is to streets, construction, or other debris, the more often cleaning will need to take place
  • Operating lawn mowers next to running equipment will get grass stuck in the coil

It’s not as simple as spraying it with a hose. If you use too much pressure, you can easily damage the fins. Let one of our professionals do the job for you. You’ll have quality work at a reasonable price. And you’ll ensure your home or business is cool all summer long.

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