AC Anatomy: Condenser Coil

If you’ve been following our other AC Anatomy posts, you already know how learning some air conditioning lingo can benefit you and save you money. This week we’re taking a look at condenser coils—what they do, how to tell if they’re malfunctioning, and how to fix them.

What do Condenser Coils Do?

The condenser is a vital component of your air conditioning system because it works alongside the compressor to cool the air before it circulates throughout your home. While the compressor turns the refrigerant into a hot liquid, the condenser takes this liquid and transports it to the many coils within the AC system. During this process, the liquid lets off heat which escapes through the fins of the condenser. By the time the liquid reaches the coils, it’s much cooler. The cooled liquid then goes on a journey through a valve and leaves the condenser as a mist and later on a gas. Ultimately, this gas ends up as cool air blowing through the ducts of your AC.

Common Condenser Coil Issues

A common problem among air conditioners is an issue with the condenser coil. Numerous things can go wrong with the condenser coil, but luckily most of them are easy fixes you can do with a little DIY magic. It’s possible for one of the fins on the condenser coil to warp or bend which can cause the system to hold in heat—but this can be fixed by reshaping or replacing the damaged fin. One of the most common issues condenser coils face is the collection of dirt, dust, and other debris. When the coils are dirty they are less efficient in removing heat. This can cause your system to overheat and stop working. Cleaning the coils is easy however, and can be done in a few simple steps.

Cleaning the Condenser Coils

When it comes to your HVAC system, preventative maintenance is the key to keeping your appliance in good shape. This means occasionally inspecting the system, including both the indoor and outdoor unit, as well as parts like the condenser coil, should be a common practice. Since we already learned that condenser coils can become dirty, it’s important to know how to clean them properly:

  • To start, turn off the air conditioner and remove any weeds or debris around the unit.
  • Detach the panels and remove the cover of the AC.
  • Clean any dirt on the blades with a rag and use a small vacuum to clean any dust or dirt off of the motor.
  • Clean debris around the condenser coils, especially trapped dirt. Using water or a foaming cleanser will suffice —just make sure to cover any wires beforehand.
  • Rinse away the cleanser and check to make sure the coils are clean before reassembling the unit.

Condenser coils are an important part of your AC and work in conjunction with the other components to keep you cool year-round. By knowing what this part does and how to fix any potential problems can help you save money and can keep your entire system functioning efficiently for years to come. To learn more AC anatomy, click here, and for all of your HVAC needs, contact Engineered Air today.