How To Maintain Your Condenser Unit

Repairing your air conditioner is often very easy if you know where to start. There are several basic DIY AC repairs that can be done by homeowners with no experience or knowledge of central HVAC systems. This article explains one very useful DIY maintenance for homeowners with a limited budget.

What is the Condenser Unit?

The condenser unit is perhaps the most vital part of a central air conditioning system. It is often just called the air conditioner, but it is technically a condenser. The condenser needs to be kept clean. It is especially important to clean your condenser after a long winter. Hopefully, you will have covered your unit during the months that it is not being used regularly.

The fan helps suck warm air out of the house through the refrigerant system. There are vital coils (or fins) that line the outside of the unit. These coils are where the most important heat exchange takes place. The refrigerant lines that lead into the coils bring vapor that the condenser converts into liquid. Simultaneously, the fan blows outside air onto the coils, further cooling them down. So, if the fan or coils are dirty, the unit will not be as effective and it will be harder (not to mention more expensive) to cool your home.

How to Clean a Dirty Condenser Unit

Cleaning the condenser unit is very simple. All you need is a hose, cordless power drill, and hose vacuum. First, clean the fan by removing the bird guard on the top with the power drill. Once the guard is removed, you will have access to the fan compartment. You might need a rag to wipe down water or mud inside the compartment. A hose vacuum will enable you to easily suck up any dirt and leaves that fell through the guard.

Cleaning the coils can be done after you reattach the bird guard. Simply spray down the exterior walls of the unit with a powerful water stream. The aluminum fins house the coils, so any dirt in between the fins will slow down the heat transfer by the coils. You might need to spray a basic liquid cleaner onto the fins to help break down the dirt before spraying them off. But, this is only necessary if your fins are especially dirty.

This simple repair will save you money, not only on repair bills, but also on your monthly utility bill. The sooner you do it, the easier and cheaper the job is, so don't delay. 

For more information, contact a professional in your area or visit a website like