One of the main components of an AC system is the condenser unit located outside of your home. The condenser consists of a set of coils and a fan used to pump air over them. These coils are responsible for cooling the vaporized refrigerant running through them so that it can condense back to a liquid and cycle back to the evaporator coils in your house. The outside location of these coils can create challenges that you, the homeowner, must deal with in order to keep the coils running as efficiently as possible. Specifically, you need to keep the coils clean.
Spacing to Protect Airflow
Condenser coils depend on airflow to work properly. A fan located inside the coils pushes air through the coils, and this air absorbs heat from the coils and then carries it away. If you don't like the look of AC coils, you might be tempted to hide them by planting shrubs, flowers, or tall grasses around them. This would be a bad idea because plants that grow right up next to your coils can obstruct airflow. For the best functioning of your condenser, you should keep plants at least a couple of feet away from your coils.
A second concern with AC coils is that dandelion fluff, grass clippings, fallen leaves, dirt, and trash can get stuck to the coils. As more and more junk builds up on the coils, the junk can prevent airflow and/or act as insulation so that the air flowing over the coils is not able to extract as much heat as it should from the refrigerant flowing through the coils. You should inspect your coils from time to time and remove fallen leaves, dandelion fluff, and whatever else you can get at. On the other hand, if you have layers of stuck-on dirt, you should probably call an expert who will have the right cleaners and tools to clean your coils completely without damaging them.
Cleaning condenser coils may seem like a tedious and unnecessary job, but dirty coils can increase energy consumption by up to 37%. Thus, taking the time to inspect your coils and clean them whenever necessary should help you to save money in the long run. As long as you take care of big stuff on your own, you should not need to hire a professional cleaner to take care of stuck-on grime more than once a year, so your cleaning costs should not outweigh the savings and improved performance of your coils.
For help cleaning your condenser coils and HVAC system, reach out to companies like Rizzo Heating & Air Conditioning.