You Don't Have To Make The Same Mistakes

I always took my home's heating and cooling system for granted. That is until I found myself battling one of the hottest days in years and my air conditioner simply refused to turn on. After contacting my local HVAC contractor, I learned that my cooling coils had frozen over from a lack of maintenance. He did get my AC back up and running that day, but he also helped me to look at my heating and cooling system in a whole new light. I have spent a lot of time over the last few years learning more about how to properly maintain my HVAC system and ultimately lower my energy costs. Today, I would like to share this knowledge with you so that I can help you to avoid some of the costly mistakes I have made in the past.

Outdoor AC Unit's Fan Won't Come On? Clean The Condenser Coil

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If your air conditioner's fan stops working, you may think that something's wrong with the evaporator coil or coolant lines inside the home. But sometimes, the outdoor unit's condenser coil becomes soiled with dirt. These problems can cause the outdoor unit's fan to shut down. In worse cases, the compressor can stop working. Before you call an air conditioning service technician, learn how a soiled condenser coil affects your air conditioner and how you can clean it.

What's a Condenser Coil?

The condenser coil is one of the largest and most important pieces of your air conditioning system. The coil wraps around the outdoor unit and features tiny sharp pieces called fins on the surfaces of it. The fins can trap small particles of dirt over time and block air circulation through the unit.

The condenser coil receives all of the heat the home holds from the evaporator coil. The heat travels through refrigerant lines connected to the indoor and outdoor unit. The condenser coil removes the heat from the lines and the outdoor unit. But when the dirt clogs up the fins, the coil can't release the heat properly. The heat backs up inside the condenser coil, which overloads the fan.

The fan is designed to come on whenever the unit becomes too hot or needs to release built-up heat through the condenser coil's fins. If the fan stops turning, the entire air conditioning system can overheat and shut down. If this happens, the critical parts of the outdoor unit, such as the compressor, burn out.

The compressor keeps the cooling system operating at top peak by turning liquid coolant into a high-pressured gas. The compressed gas travels to the condensing coil, where it's cooled and transferred back into the evaporator coil. If the compressor can't turn the hot liquid into a gas, it becomes overworked and shuts down. You can't repair the compressor on your own and must call a repair technician instead.

Cleaning the condenser coil may save you time, money and headaches.

How Do You Clean the Condenser Coil?

To clean the condenser coil, you'll need to turn off the air conditioning system. The safest way to do so is to cut power at the circuit breaker inside the home and at the power box located outside the home. Also, obtain a long water hose with multiple speed nozzle and a broom. 

Now, follow these steps:

  1. Sweep the concrete base around the unit. You don't want muddy water to fling inside the unit during the cleaning. Mud can damage the fins.
  2. Use your cooling system's owner's manual to find instructions on how to remove the paneling from around the unit.
  3. Turn your water hose on low speed, then gently clean the surfaces of the condensing coil. Don't touch the fins with the nozzle or turn the water hose to a higher speed. The fins are very delicate and can easily bend when exposed to pressure.
  4. Spend at least 10-15 minutes cleaning the condenser coil. The coil will appear shiny and metallic once it's cleaned.
  5. Turn off the hose, then allow the coil to dry for one hour. You want to remove as much water as possible from the coil to prevent rusting.
  6. Replace the paneling, then turn back on the cooling system's power. 

It may take a few minutes before the fan kicks on. But if the fan doesn't turn back on after 5 minutes, turn the unit back off and contact an air conditioning repair technician. The compressor inside the unit may need replacing. 

For more details or services about your outdoor unit's fan and other parts, contact a company like McKinney Heating & Air Conditioning.

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22 December 2015