What To Know About Dirty Air Conditioner Condenser Coils

Posted on: 9 October 2019

The coils in your outdoor AC condenser unit are important for helping your air conditioner work efficiently. In order to do that, the coils have to be kept clean. This involves having your AC cleaned and serviced annually by a professional and occasional cleaning the unit by yourself if you feel comfortable doing so. Here's why the coils get dirty, why dirty coils harm your AC, and how often they should be cleaned.

What Causes Condenser Coils To Get Dirty

Since your AC condenser is outside, it is subject to wind, rain, and blowing debris. This allows dirt, decaying leaves, and other tiny debris to get blown in the cage and cling to the fins and coils. Things like flying grass clippings when you mow or falling sticky pine needles can make the condenser dirty. Even dirt or dust blowing off bare soil can coat the coils in dirt. Over time, this dirt builds up on the coils and fins and affects the operation of your AC.

Why Dirty Coils Are A Problem

Dirty condenser coils cause your air conditioner to work harder to keep your home cool. The drop in efficiency might be reflected in higher utility bills during the summer. It's also possible your AC won't be able to keep your home as cool as you like, and that can make hot and humid summer days more miserable. When coils are dirty for a long time, it can cause your AC to overwork and this results in a shorter lifespan. These problems can be prevented with regular cleaning.

How Often To Clean The Condenser Coils

Once a year cleaning could be enough to keep your condenser clean. You can place your AC on a regular maintenance schedule with an HVAC company that includes annual cleaning and maintenance. However, you might also want the AC cleaned again at the close of the season. If you live near a dirt road or if new construction is going on nearby, the extra dust and dirt in the air could make your coils get dirty faster than normal. Keep an eye on your AC, and if you see clogged fins, or if the inside seems dirty, schedule a cleaning.

If you do your own home improvement chores, you can probably clean the condenser, coils, and fins yourself between service calls if it's needed. Just be sure to disconnect the unit from the power source first. You can buy a coil brush, fin comb, and coil cleaning foam from a home improvement store made specifically for cleaning air conditioners. Those items combined with a water hose could be all you need to keep leaves, grass clippings, dust, and dirt from interfering with the efficient operation of your AC condenser throughout the summer.

For more information about how to keep your air conditioning running smoothly, contact a local resource.