If you have central air conditioning in your home, you should not neglect caring for the outdoor condenser. It plays a crucial part in keeping the whole system running, but it is often ignored because it is out of sight. If you have your air conditioner serviced and inspected, the technician will likely take care of these things for you. However, you can also do these things yourself if you know what to do.
Turn Off Air Conditioner At Fuse Box
You should always start by turning off the air conditioner at the fuse box. It will ensure that there is no power running to the air conditioner at all while you are cleaning it, and will prevent it from accidentally turning on. It is also a good idea to make sure the unit is turned off at the thermostat as an additional measure of safety.
Trim Back Shrubs
The air conditioner's condenser needs plenty of room around it for air to flow freely through the unit and to cool it down. You'll want to trim back any shrubs that are touching the condenser so that they are completely out of the way. Keep a couple of feet of empty space around the air conditioner as well, and avoid storing anything that will lean up against the unit.
Spray With Hose
Use a screwdriver to safely remove the cover of the air conditioner. This will help you access the inside of the unit, remove debris that has gotten inside, and assist with cleaning things out. Start by spraying down the coils from the inside, making sure to push the debris outside the unit. You'll want to spray the coils with a coil cleaner specifically designed for air conditioners, and let it sit on them according to the directions. You will then return and finish with spraying down the coils to remove any excess debris and cleaner that is on them.
Straighten The Fins
Another thing you can do with the air conditioner open is straightening the fins of the unit to improve airflow. This can easily be done by using a condenser fin comb, which is designed specifically for this task. Run the comb over the fins and it will get rid of any bends in the metal that restrict airflow.
When finished straightening out the fins, you can put the cover back on the condenser and turn the unit back on. Test the unit to make sure everything is working properly by turning it on at the thermostat. Contact an air conditioning service for more information.