Fall is almost here, which means that the cooling season is coming to a close. At this time of year, many homeowners clean their air conditioner condenser to improve its efficiency and extend the life of their unit. Understanding the why and the how of this process can help you with your air conditioner maintenance this fall.

AC Condenser - HVAC Services in Irving, TX

The Purpose of Cleaning Your Air Conditioner Condenser

Your air conditioner works by absorbing hot air in your home and then releasing that hot air into the yard through the condenser. To encourage air flow and maintain efficiency, the condenser is protected by a delicate grate with "fins" that allows air to blow out of the unit and into the open.

If the airflow around the condenser becomes blocked by debris, this can reduce the efficiency of your unit and could potentially lead to a breakdown. Because the air conditioner condenser is located outdoors, leaves and twigs can easily become caught inside the unit. Over time, this debris can start to build up on the coils, slowing the release of hot air into the yard. 

Cleaning your unit on a regular basis can help protect your air conditioner from debris and can keep the air conditioner running efficiently.

How to Clean Your A/C Condenser

To clean your air conditioner condenser, start by cutting the power to the unit. Many homeowners aren't sure how to do this. If need be, you can turn off the circuit breaker. Once this is done, unscrew the top of the unit and pull it off. Use a wet-dry vacuum to suck the leaves and other debris from the air conditioner. 

Once the air conditioner condenser is completely cleaned out, use a strong jet of water from a hose to spray the inside of the condenser. Use the strong jet of water to clear off the debris from the coils and to wash away any remaining dirt inside the condenser.

If your air conditioner condenser is very dirty, or if it hasn't been cleaned in a long time, buy coil cleaner from your local home improvement store. Use a soft-bristled brush and coil cleaner to remove any stuck-on dirt. Rinse the coil cleaner out of the unit, then put the lid back on the air conditioner. Once this is done, restore power.

When Cleaning Should Occur

Air conditioner condensers need to be cleaned at least once annually. Clean your condenser either after the debris has accumulated at the end of the summer or in the spring just before the cooling season begins. 

Other Ways to Maintain Your Condenser

You can help prevent debris from building up in your condenser by keeping weeds, leaves and stray organic material away from the unit. Keep all plants at least 2 feet away from your condenser. Avoid planting anything that sheds leaves or petals in the vicinity around your air conditioner. 

To prevent weeds from growing up around your condenser, consider mulching the area with heavy rock mulch. Do not use small rocks or lightweight pieces of bark that might become stuck in the fins. Homeowners who want to install a fence around the condenser to protect it can do so, but it's important to keep the fence at least 2 feet away from the unit to ensure good air flow.

Contact Your HVAC Professional for More Tips

If you take good care of your air conditioner, it will take good care of you. To find out more information about how to maintain your air conditioner condenser this fall, contact Henry's Service All. We're your source for HVAC maintenance and repair in Irving, TX.