Your air conditioner compressor that sits outside your home may be in the background and go unnoticed all summer long as long as it works to cool your home, but it needs maintenance to keep it working as well as it should to cool your home and use less energy. Take some time in the spring before you turn on your air conditioner to clean and maintain its coils and fins. Here are some tips to help you keep your home as cool as possible this summer by helping your air conditioner be more efficient.
Clean the Coils
Cleaning the coils on your outside compressor is important, as the coils can become coated in dirt, debris, and moisture that can lead to mold and mildew growth. The latter can actually cause an odor to blow from your air conditioner into your home that smells of dirty socks. For this reason, it is important to clean the coils to prevent this odor.
Dirt and debris-covered coils will result in their not being able to expel heat from your home's interior. Normally the coolant cycles inside the coils as it pulls warmth from your home's interior air, then the coils expel the warmth to the outside air and the coolant cools down again to then pull more warmth from your home's interior air.
You can buy an air conditioner coil cleaning agent that you mix with water and spray over the coils inside your air conditioner compressor. First, disconnect the power to your outside compressor or shut off the power to the compressor at your home's electrical breaker box.
Next, remove the screws holding the protective cover on your compressor and slide the cover from the top. Use a clean garden sprayer to mix the coil cleaning solution, and spray it onto the coils using the garden sprayer wand. Follow the directions on the cleaner's bottle to allow time for the cleaner to remove the build-up of dirt. Rinse the cleaner from the coils, if necessary.
Straighten the Fins
Before you replace the cover to your air conditioner compressor and turn its power back on, you can take some time to straighten any of the exterior coolant fins on your compressor. These closely-set, thin metal fins help the compressor to expel heat from its coils. Unfortunately, the metal fins can easily become bent and damaged from flying debris, such as rocks and wood chips from lawn mowers and weed eaters, and hail from adverse weather. You can easily straighten them with an air conditioner fin straightening comb, which you can find at most home improvement stores, and they are available usually for $20 or less.
First, determine the size of the comb you will need to slide through to straighten the fins. Measure one inch of length over the fins and count the number of fins within this space to determine the comb's size number. For example, if there are ten fins within a one-inch length, you would need a number-ten comb straightener. Most fin straightening comb kits come with several sizes, so you should be able to select one kit that you can use to straighten any bent fins.
Place the comb into the bottom of the fins that need straightening, and run the comb up through the fins to restore them to their proper position. Repeat this process around the sides of your compressor to repair any other bent fins. Replace the cover and its attachment screws and restores power to your air conditioner.
Use these tips to help you keep your air conditioner working well to cool your home. For additional advice, contact an air conditioning contractor in your area.Share
28 July 2017
Working with HVAC contractors is an important part of being a homeowner. Not only do your contractors ensure that a new system you buy is properly installed, but they also ensure optimal performance throughout the years through a series of regular inspections, maintenance services, and repairs. But there are lots of things you can do in between your contractor's visits to ensure that your HVAC investment is always in tip top condition, aside from cleaning out the air filters. After working with my dad for more than a decade in the HVAC business, I've put together a few methods homeowners can use to maintain a well working system, and I have published those tips and tricks right here on this blog. I hope some of the information you find here helps you on your journey as a homeowner!