Dirty A/C coils cause overheating
A few days ago my wife and I were relaxing in our living room after the kids had gone to bed. I was watching TV and she was using her laptop computer. Suddenly the computer has an error and shuts down. The problem? Dust. A fan draws cool air across a device which dissipates the heat generated by the computer. The harder the computer works, the hotter it gets. If dust collects on the heat dissipating device, the computer will run slower and hotter. Without proper cleaning the computer will overheat and be ruined.
Your air conditioner operates on the same principle. The outdoor unit (Condenser) dissipates the heat that has been absorbed from the indoor unit (Evaporator). This summer when you have your air conditioner on, go outside and feel the air that’s blowing out of the condenser. The temperature of the air blowing out will vary but it should be between 15 to 25 degrees hotter than the air surrounding the unit.
The more the air conditioner runs, the more air is drawn through the air conditioner coil. Outdoor contaminates and dust get caught in the air conditioner coil. The most common culprits in the Dayton and Cincinnati areas are cottonwood seed, grass clippings, mold spores from landscaping mulch, pollen from surrounding vegetation, dirt and mud that splash on the unit from rain, and sometimes even pet hair. As the air conditioner collects more and more debris, airflow through the coil is choked and the air conditioner runs hot and inefficient. It is common for a condenser coil to be completely clogged with dust and debris with just one season of operation.
Clean A/C Coils save money in repairs and energy use
This is why routine air conditioner maintenance is so important. The higher temperatures generated by a dirty air conditioner will cause premature failure of small components such as fuses and capacitors and large components such as fan motors and compressors. A lack of proper maintenance WILL cause multiple service calls, higher energy bills, and a very uncomfortable home.
One of the most important parts of an air conditioner maintenance is a thorough cleaning of the condenser coil. Keeping the air conditioner’s coil clean will improve the efficiency and capacity of your air conditioning system, extend the life of internal components, and extend the life of the system as a whole.
I actually enjoy cleaning air conditioner coils. I know that when I’m finished, the air conditioner will work better and my customer will be happier. We use a super high foaming, biodegradable coil cleaner recommended for cleaning and brightening aluminum finned heating and cooling coils. It’s strong foaming action penetrates beneath contamination and pushes dirt and debris from the coil to the outer surface. We then rinse with fresh water and wash the cabinet with automotive Wash & Wax, and adjust the refrigerant level to insure efficient operation.
If you haven’t already, check out our refreshingly honest maintenance plan. Then call to make an appointment to have you air conditioner cleaned and tuned. All you need is an outdoor water faucet and we will handle the rest!
To save even more energy, check out the Department of Energy’s energy saving tips.
My next maintenance installment will be “Proper Filtration.” Better go check your furnace air filter!