Before our service technicians began the heat wave domination season, we had a chance to take them aside and squeeze them for some preliminary customer suggestions. We asked each of them the question “what is your advice for the general public in order to keep their system running its best for the longest amount of time?”
Forego the headscratching, these guys had their slips of paper with inked scribbles back before the day’s first a/c service call. I’m telling you, these service technicians are GOOD! There were some similarities in their answers, but each technician had helpful advice. There was also one overwhelming recommendation that stood out amongst the answers. Let this be the first of many in this series!
A clean condenser coil is a happy condenser coil!
If you don’t know what the condenser coil is, that’s okay! Your condenser coil is in the outside part of your air conditioning system. Most often these are in the back yard or around the side of the house, but you can always recognize one by the grill on top and the spinning fan just below it. Upon closer inspection, the walls inside the cage are actually hundreds of tiny aluminum “fins.” This is what we need to clean. You may notice it full of dirt, debris, or grass clippings. They may even be bent (not good!). What you’ll want to do is turn off the unit and clean it up. If there’s anything stuck to the unit (leaves, clumps of dirt, trash, etc.) go ahead and get those off with your hands. As for other dirt jammed where you can’t reach it with your hands, it’s time to get the hose out. Now, don’t get a powerwasher out because that would definitely damage the fins. Get a regular garden hose and use a gentle spray to dislodge the gunk. If any of the fins are bent, you can pick up a “fin brush” at a local hardware store. This will straighten them out so air can be expelled from the unit more efficiently. When you’re all finished cleaning your air conditioner or heat pump’s condenser coil, go ahead and put on the cage (no, don’t put the cage on you, put it back on the unit!) and activate the a/c unit.
You see, when there is dirt and debris lodged in your air conditioner “fins,” less heat can escape (the heat being expelled from your house). This may cause your system to run harder than it should, which will shorten the life span of the unit and decrease efficiency (which gives you higher bills than you should have). With a clean unit, your system will breathe easier and live longer.
Another good-to-know tidbit: if you have a cottonwood tree near your outside air conditioning unit, you should definitely be cautious! Clean your system more than once a year if you do. Those fuzzy guys can really clog up your equipment.
That’s all for today’s entry, but look for more in this helpful series! Still can’t wait that long?! Go to www.JerryKelly.com and see why we’re still Missouri’s #1 contractor!