How To Clean Condenser Coils

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How To Clean Condenser Coils

4 January 2017
 Categories: , Blog

When it comes to maintaining your HVAC system, cleaning the condenser coils is one of the most important and straightforward jobs. Coils are a vital component that line the condenser unit. The condenser unit is a large appliance located on the outside of your home, right next to the wall. You probably referred to this as the air conditioner. While it is definitely a central part to the AC system, it is mainly responsible for condensing air in heat transfer process. This article explains where the coils are and how to repair and clean them.

Finding the coils

The coils are actually not visible because they are behind the aluminum fins. These sheets, with small ridges, are actually attached to the coils. So, when experts talk about cleaning the condenser coils, they are really talking about cleaning the fins that protect them. The fins are made out aluminum that is so thin that it can easily get bent. Also, there is a small gap between each fin. The most common problem is that dirt gets blown into these gaps and clogs the fins, causing the coils to be less effective.

Cleaning the coils

Even if you don't notice a bunch of dirt buildup between the aluminum fins, you should clean them. You just need soap and hoses to effectively clean the condenser coils. First, soak them in a little bit of water. Then, spray on some soap or liquid cleaner. Let it sit for a bit to help break down the dirt. Finally, use a powerful stream of water to wash away the dirt.

Straightening the coils

Once the coils are clean, you can try to straighten the bent ones. You can find fin brushes that are convenient if you have a lot of bent coils. However, a small flathead screwdriver might be more practical if you only have a few bent rows. In fact, if your coils are so bent that they're flattening down completely, the comb won't be very effective. You will need a very sharp flathead screwdriver or similar tool to pry them up.

As you can see, cleaning your coils, or fins, is a simple job that will only take a few minutes. It is a good idea to do this every year before summer starts and you begin to use your AC on a daily basis. Also, if you keep your condenser unit covered during the winter, your coils won't get as dirty or bent. For more information, contact local professionals like John Legg's Heating & Air Conditioning.