How To Clean Your AC Condenser Fins

Does it feel like your air conditioner is not as efficient as it used to be? Does it seem like there is reduced airflow, and the air that is coming out is not as cold as it should be? If you're having any of these problems, it does not necessarily mean that you need to go out and buy a new air conditioner. In fact, you can most likely improve the efficiency of your AC unit with this simple do-it-yourself cleaning. This article explains how to improve the efficiency of your air conditioner by cleaning your condenser. This is a simple but effective maintenance task that should be repeated every year or so.

Finding the Condenser

The condenser coils are easy to find. They are within the exterior walls of the condenser unit. They are actually behind the sheets of aluminum that are visible from the outside of the unit. In reality, you can only really clean the aluminum (not the actual coils). This is the most important part of the condenser to clean. You will notice that the aluminum has thin ridges, called fins. These fins can get bent and the space between them can get clogged with dirt. These sheets are attached to the coils and are vital in the operation of the condenser unit. If the fins are clogged with dirt, you condenser will have to work harder to transfer heat away from the motor. This significantly reduces the efficiency of your unit and will result in a much higher electricity bill.

How to Clean the Condenser

Before you work on your condenser, you need to turn it off. This does not just mean that you can turn off your thermostat. To be safe, you should cut the actual power supply to the unit by hitting the breaker switch. Most condensers don't have an on/off switch.

While there are special condenser cleaning liquids, you can usually clean your unit with just water. These cleaning solutions are a little expensive and not carried by all home improvement stores. Alternatively, you could use a basic all-surface cleaner to help break down the dirt. Otherwise, you can just spray down the fins with a hose. However, be careful to not spray with too much pressure, as it could actually bend the fins.

As you can see, the process of cleaning your condenser is simple, once you identify the most vital components to target. Click here to learn more about air conditioning repair.