Everything you need to know about cleaning your AC condenser and getting it properly prepared before the summer season
With spring in the air, it’s time to start thinking about your air conditioner and if it’s prepared correctly for the warm weather. More than likely, you’ve neglected this chore, and a year’s worth of dirt and debris has piled up on your AC condenser. Your AC is probably not cooling as well as it should due to a low coolant level, a dirty fan filter, clogs in the cooling fins, and many other simple problems that can actually be solved and fixed very easily.
So, when should you call one of these pros of air conditioner repair at Conejo Valley Air? You obviously can’t check the coolant levels on your own, but routine cleaning chores can save you roughly $100-$150, and you can do them on your own with a few simple steps! We are going to show you exactly how to clean and maintain your Air conditioner condenser and the accessible parts of the indoor unit (known as the evaporator) in this article. This chore will save you money, time, and it will help get your home properly cooled down. Keep reading to learn more!
The Different Parts Of Your AC Condenser
What is the AC condenser, and how does it work? The AC condenser is the unit that stays outside, and it contains cooling fins, a compressor, a fan, and tubes. The fan works by sucking air through the fins and cooling a special type of coolant. The compressor then pumps into your home to the evaporator through a copper tube. The coolant chills the tubes and fins of the evaporator – warm air from outside is sucked in, passes through the evaporator and is cooled, then is blown to rooms within the house. The evaporator works by removing humidity in the air, and the remaining condensation drains off through a tube. The ducting system and blower unit varies and may be located in the attic, garage, basement, or furnace room. Let’s take a closer look at the step-by-step guide to clean and maintain your AC condenser.
Tools You Need In Order To Clean Your AC Condenser:
- Rubber gloves
- A shop-vac
- Garden hose
- 4 in 1 screwdriver
- Dinner knife
Listed below are the ten steps (in order) that you should follow while cleaning your AC condenser. If you have any questions about the following, please give Conejo Valley Air, your most reliable and trustworthy HVAC Contractor, a call at (805) 499-0448, and we will be happy to answer. We provide round-the-clock emergency air conditioner repair in different areas of California including all of Conejo Valley areas and nearby regions including Los Angeles County, Ventura County, and Santa Barbara County.
No. 1: Turn Off The Power
You need to ensure that the electrical power connected to the condenser is turned off. You’ll be either pulling out a block or turning a switch to the ‘off’ position.
No. 2: Vacuum Away Dirt And Debris
Use your shop-vac to remove grass clippings, dirt, leaves, cobwebs, etc. You’ll also want to clear away grass and bushes within 2 feet of the air condenser.
Keep in mind that you can temporarily fix an overflowing drain pan using water sealant, but it’s always recommended to call an experienced and certified HVAC technician to replace the part and look at your system thoroughly without compromising your unit.
No. 3: Straighten Up The Fins
Use a dinner knife and apply pressure to bent or crushed fins to make them straight again.
No. 4: Remove The Fan
Start by unscrewing the top grill, then carefully lift out the fan and set it aside. You want to make sure you don’t tangle up any of the electrical wires. Remove any debris and wipe interior surfaces clean with a damp cloth.
No. 5: Clean The Fins
Your primary job with this step is to clean the fine metallic blades that surround your unit. They easily get dirty due to air being sucked in through them, which also pulls in dirt and debris. Make sure the electrical power is turned off, and hose off the fins carefully until they are clean.
No. 6: Restart The Outside AC Unit
Start by turning the power back on, then turn the house thermostat on to ‘cool’ – this will enable the compressor to come on. After roughly 10 minutes, check the insulated tube – it should be cold. The uninsulated tube should be warm.
No. 7: Start Cleaning The Indoor Unit
Switch the furnace power to ‘off,’ then pull out the furnace filter and check it for debris and dirt – change it if necessary.
No. 8: Vacuum And Lubricate
Vacuum up the dust after you have opened the blower compartment in Air Handler unit. If the motor has lubrication ports, squeeze five drops of electric motor oil into each port.
No. 9: Clean The Drain Tube
Check for algae build up by pulling off the plastic condensation drain tube. You’ll want to clean the drain tube by mixing a water and bleach solution (1:16 ratio), and flushing it down the line. Or, you can simply replace the tube.
No. 10: Clean Out The Drain Port
All you need to do here is poke a pipe cleaner into the drain port and remove any debris.
Recap & Final Thoughts
Cleaning out your Air Conditioner condenser is a simple task that should only take you roughly one hour. It’s something that should be done at least twice a year, but it’s okay if you only get to it once. If you are unsure about the list above, contact Conejo Valley Air at (805) 499-0448 for the most professional Air conditioning service in your area and speak with one of our friendly professionals. With over 30 years of experience, we can easily help you get your AC condenser in clean and working order!