Does Your Air Conditioner Have a Dirty Little Secret? (Hint: Cruddy Coils Create Uncool AC)

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When it comes to air conditioning and staying comfortable in your desert home, it’s all about air flow – the free movement of cooled air throughout your house and the transfer of heat from inside your home to the great outdoors. A key component to extracting heat from the inside of your home is your air conditioning system’s condenser, which is located outside. The condenser coils are truly where the rubber meets the road – where the indoor heat is transferred and released. If anything is hindering the coils from releasing heat, the efficiency of your air conditioner can be greatly compromised. Your AC unit will be forced to work harder and use more energy to accomplish its cooling mission. Quite simply, the dirty little secret of air conditioning is if your condenser coils are clogged, your utility bill will most likely be going up.

Dirty, Clogged Condenser Coils Hamper Heat Transfer

In order to disperse the heat from your home to the outside, condenser coils need free flowing air to pass over them. If your coils are covered with dirt, crud and grime, it becomes similar to a layer of unwanted, unnecessary insulation preventing the flow of air over the coils. In some extreme cases, we’ve seen condensers that have been neglected and not cleaned for years and as a result, are almost completely blocked. When that occurs, the homeowner will notice “uncool” (warm) air coming out of the vents.

Because the condenser sits outside or in some cases, on top of the roof, it is at the mercy of the elements. Rain storms, monsoons, wind driven dust, leaves, grass and debris can all find their way into this key component of your air conditioning system. Here are some of the most common condenser issues we encounter:

  • Damaged Condenser Coils – Obviously, dirty coils create problems. However, they can be cleaned. If a condenser coil is actually broken it can negatively impact the entire AC unit. Condenser coils are occasionally damaged by accidents, such as falling trees or branches during heavy storms. Corrosion and rust can compromise older units. There are even cases where well intentioned homeowners have damaged their coils accidently while rigorously cleaning their condenser.
  • Leaks or Failing Tubes – Being exposed to the elements, condenser tubes and seals are more susceptible to leaks. In Phoenix, this is often due to the intense heat which results in extra wear and tear on the unit. Checking for leaks and faulty tubes requires special equipment. Our service technicians will perform a full inspection on your condenser, the coils, seals and tubes to make sure there are no leaks or broken seals.
  • Faulty Capacitor, Bad Relay Switch and Control Board Failure – Capacitors, relay switches and control board failures are all electrical issues that can occur as a result of uncontrollable factors, such as power surges, power outages, rainstorms, lightning and wear and tear. Over time, electrical parts can simply wear out. Occasionally, there will be warning signs that a particular part is about to give out. However, the best approach to dealing with electrical problems is to schedule regular service calls so your air conditioner is being inspected by expert professionals.

It’s No Secret Our Service Is Second to None

It’s early in the year and scheduling a service call before you use your air conditioner for the first time in 2019 is a great idea. Your air conditioner has been idle for months and may have collected a lot of dirt and dust during its winter vacation. We’ll be happy to clean and inspect your condenser coils as well as your entire HVAC system. Give us a call today.