An Air-Conditioning Repair Technician May Need To Clean The Condenser Coil When Your AC Malfunctions

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Dirt causes a surprising amount of trouble for an air conditioner. Whether it's dust accumulation on the inside or dirt, debris, or grass clippings on the outside of the unit, anything that coats the refrigerant coils affects how well your air conditioner cools your house. That's why it's important to keep the refrigerant lines and coils clean. The condenser coil is outside, so it is especially vulnerable to debris such as dandelion fuzz or cottonwood fluff.

Here are signs the condenser coil might need to be cleaned and how an air-conditioning repair service might do the job.

Signs Of A Dirty Condenser Coil

If you're outside near your air conditioner, it's easy to spot when the condenser coil is dirty since the outside of the coil is where the fins are located. If it looks like grass clippings, dirt, or other debris is coating the fins, it's time to clean the condenser and coil.

Less obvious signs include ice growing on the AC or when your home isn't staying as cool. Your AC may even need to run longer to keep you cool, and that can drive up your power bill. A more serious problem is when the compressor overheats because airflow is blocked. In that case, a dirty condenser coil could contribute to a burned-out compressor that's costly to replace.

Ways To Clean A Condenser Coil

Many of the symptoms of a dirty condenser coil are also signs of other problems with your AC, so you may want an air-conditioning repair technician to check your AC and confirm the only problem is a dirty coil. Cleaning the coil involves cleaning out the condenser cage, cleaning the coil, and cleaning and straightening the fins.

Your air-conditioning repair service may use coil cleaner and a brush on the refrigerant coil to scrub away dirt and stuck debris. They might use fin cleaner on the fins, but fins can also be cleaned with the brush attachment on a vacuum or with a hose. When cleaning the fins, it's important not to bend them because they are thin and bend down easily. Once bent, they restrict airflow, and that's bad for your air conditioner. Any fins that are bent should be straightened back out.

It's also a good idea to use the hose or your hand to clear debris out of the condenser cage so it doesn't get blown back on the coil.

If the dirty coil caused your AC to malfunction, the air-conditioning repair technician may check other parts of your AC just to verify the coil was the only problem. Once the dirty coil is cleaned, you may find your home cools down more easily.