Tri-Point Refrigeration Blog | How often should I clean my AC condenser coils?

How often should I clean my AC condenser coils?

Jan 27, 2024 | Air Conditioning | 0 comments

Air conditioning is a crucial part of modern life, especially during the hot summer months. It helps us and our families stay cool and comfy and also improves the air quality in our homes. Like all appliances, air conditioners need regular maintenance to function efficiently and prevent costly surprise breakdowns–something no one wants! One important aspect of AC maintenance is cleaning the condenser coils.

dirty condenser coils, air conditioning, AC unit
Dirty condenser coils

What are AC condenser coils?

The condenser coils are a vital part of your air conditioning system, and they play a crucial role in the heat transfer process. They are located in the outdoor unit of your air conditioner and are responsible for releasing the heat absorbed by the evaporator coils inside your home. The condenser coils then release this heat into the outdoor air, making it possible for the AC unit to cool the indoor air, and thus continues the cycle!

Over time, the condenser coils will inevitably get dirty and clogged with dirt, dust, and debris. This can not only affect the efficiency of your air conditioning system but also causes it to work harder to cool your home. This can cause your energy bills may increase, and your AC unit may even break down. Because of this, it is important to clean your AC condenser coils regularly.

How often should I clean my AC condenser coils?

The frequency of cleaning your AC condenser coils depends on several factors, which can include the following:

Location: If you live in an area with lots of dust, pollen, or other airborne debris (like Texas!) you may need to clean your AC condenser coils more frequently. Similarly, if your AC unit is located near a busy road or construction site, it may accumulate dirt and debris more quickly due to its close proximity to sites that can expel tons of pollutants.

Usage: If you use your air conditioner frequently, you may need to clean the condenser coils more often. The more you use your AC unit, the more air passes through the condenser coils, which can cause them to become dirty faster. Is your AC on all day every day? You may fall under this category!

Age: Older air conditioning systems may require more frequent cleaning of the condenser coils than newer models. Older systems tend to not feature the same efficient filters as new models, which can allow more dirt and debris to enter the condenser coils.

As a rule of thumb, it’s recommended that you clean your AC condenser coils at least once a year. However, if you live in a dusty area or use your air conditioner frequently, you may need to clean them more often. It’s a great habit to have to inspect your AC unit regularly to see if the coils are dirty and need cleaning.

How can I clean my AC condenser coils?

Cleaning your AC condenser coils is a relatively simple process, but it does require some basic tools and equipment. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Turn off the power: This is by far the most important step! Before you start cleaning your AC condenser coils, you need to turn off the power to the unit. You can do this by turning off the circuit breaker or switching off the power supply at the main electrical panel. Safety first!
  2. Remove any debris: Use a soft-bristled brush or a vacuum cleaner to remove any debris or loose dirt from the surface of the condenser coils to save yourself the hassle of picking it out by hand–however, be gentle to avoid damaging the fins.
  3. Spray with water: Use a garden hose or a pressure washer to spray the condenser coils with water. Start at the top of the coils and work your way down. Again, avoid using too much pressure as it may bend the fins.
  4. Apply coil cleaner: Apply a coil cleaner to the condenser coils according to the manufacturer’s instructions. You can use a commercial coil cleaner or make your own by mixing equal parts water and vinegar.
  5. Rinse thoroughly: After applying the coil cleaner, rinse the condenser coils thoroughly with water. Make sure all the cleaner is removed, as any residue left on the coils can attract more dust and debris to stick right to it!
  6. Reassemble the unit: Once the coils are clean and dry, you can reassemble the unit and turn the power back on. Make sure all the panels and screws are securely fastened before powering up!

It’s worth noting that cleaning your AC condenser coils can be a messy and time-consuming job. If you’re not comfortable doing it yourself, or if your AC unit is difficult to access, it may be best to hire one of our professional HVAC technicians to do it for you. They will have the tools and expertise to clean the coils thoroughly and safely and leave you and your home with sparkling clean coils!

Call us

Interested in a coil cleaning, or need any other kind of maintenance done on your HVAC system? Maintaining your HVAC system saves you headaches and cash, and putting your unit on a regular schedule with us here at Tri-Point can help ensure that you, your home, and your family stay comfortable. Please, don’t hesitate in giving us a call here at Tri-Point Refrigeration. We’re happy to hear from you and are excited to help you along the way.

For a direct line to any of our employees ready on the line to help you, please call…(512) 651-4565 for our Austin, Texas community (806) 686-0050 for our Lubbock, Texas community.

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