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Bartels Heating & Cooling Blog

Don’t Skip This Step Before Running Your Air Conditioner

Air-Conditioner-Top-CondenserWe forget how vital air conditioners are until we are without any air conditioning on a hot summer day. Nobody wants to deal with a sudden air conditioning breakdown when they really need their systems to run. In order to help protect your air conditioner, there’s something we think you should do—or have done by a professional—before you use the system this season.

Don’t forget to clean the condenser coil, located inside the outdoor portion of your air conditioner. Today, we detail what makes this process so important, along with the tools professionals use to maintain an outdoor unit well before summertime.

Clean the coil in the outside unit of your AC

This is one of the most important things you can do for your air conditioning system each year. The outside coils gather dirt and grime over time. They are, after all, located outdoors. A large fan moves warm air over the coils to assist in the process that allows for heat release. During this process, and while the air conditioner is out of commission in the winter, a lot of debris and dirt can build up.

Why the condenser coil needs cleaning

Air conditioners cool a home by removing heat from the air. Refrigerant, a chemical blend moving throughout the system, evaporates at the indoor coil, allowing the gaseous refrigerant to absorb heat from the air blowing past the coil. That heat removal is what allows the air to cool—but it needs somewhere to go.

When the refrigerant moves outdoors, it gains more heat and pressure at the compressor. Then, at the condenser, it turns to a liquid and releases heat at the same time. Heat dissipates into the air around the outside unit. But if the coils are coated in dust and grime, it acts as an insulator.

If heat cannot release into the air, the whole cooling process is delayed. It might take a long time to cool your home, and you’ll probably start to have problems with the AC system (not to mention higher energy bills).

How the professionals clean an outdoor coil

For a thorough coil cleaning, simply spraying the coil isn’t enough. When professionals clean the coils, they…

  • Remove the guard cover.
  • Remove any visible debris from the coil.
  • Use a special chemical coil cleaner to safely and properly clean it.
  • Lightly spray the coils with a gentle water rinse.
  • Use a special tool to straighten any bent coil fins.

While you may be able to complete these steps on your own, we recommend calling in a professional. A good technician can not only clean the coils, but also perform the other maintenance steps necessary to keep your system in good working order.

For example, it may turn out that your air conditioner needs a small adjustment, such as straightening out the fan belt. It may turn out that a major component is in need of repair. In any case, it’s best to take care of these steps as early in the season as possible, so your air conditioner does not break when you really need it. Ask your local contractor about available air conditioner maintenance plans!

Contact Bartels Heating & Cooling for air conditioning services in Fairfield, OH today!

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