Maintaining The Condenser Of An Air Conditioning System

People who have an air conditioning system in their homes know how expensive it can be to have repairs carried out on the system. Although not all problems can be avoided, there are some things you can do to check that the system is, at least, able to operate as it should. This ultimately involves you drawing up a maintenance schedule, and regularly inspecting and cleaning some of the system's parts. The condenser is one part that requires inspection and maintenance. Here's how to check and maintain the condenser.

The Condenser

The condenser is the unit that is situated outside of the building, and contains a fan that moves air across the system's coils. The unit itself has fins designed into it, allowing air to flow into the system. Start by turning off the air conditioner's power and then visually inspect the unit; make sure there are no obvious signs of damage. If there is no damage, check to see if grass or weeds have grown up the sides of the unit. If so, use a set of shears to cut back the plants.

Clean The Coils

The coils are easy to identify on the unit – they are the copper colored fittings, usually found at either end of the condenser. It is important that you do not wash these with a hose. Use a coil cleaning product, which you can purchase from hardware outlets. Allow to dry naturally. Once the coils are clean, you can start to clean the fins of the grille.

Clean The Fins

The best implement to use for this job is a soft bristled brush. Sweep the fins in the grille so that any dirt, bugs or other debris is removed. Again, do not use the hose for this, as it is easy to soak any dirt here; this may turn into mud and become a blocking hazard.

Fix The Fins

If you notice that some of the fins are slightly damaged, you can fix them with a fin comb. The fin comb is a device that allows you to slip the teeth of the comb between the fins, and straighten them out. The fins are usually made from a very light type of aluminium, so take care when doing this – the fins are quite easy to damage.

Check The Level

Use a builder's level to ensure that the concrete block that the condenser is sitting on is level. If the block has moved, try prying it up a little with a crowbar, and place some gravel or small rocks under the uneven side to level it out.

It is also a good idea to protect the condenser in the Fall and Winter. Do this by using a condenser cover, which can be purchased from hardware stores. For more information about HVAC maintenance and services, contact a company like Thermax Refrigeration & Heating Ltd.

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