With winter approaching, is very important to take the proper steps to prepare your air conditioner for the off-season. If you don't properly cover up the condenser unit, you can end up having problems with your AC system. By protecting the condenser unit and giving it a quick cleaning, you can ensure that it is ready to go when the temperature starts to heat up again and you want to use your air conditioner.
Cleaning the Fan Compartment
First, you want to clean your condenser unit before you cover it up. Over the summer, when you have been running your AC throughout the day, there's a good chance that the unit has picked up some dirt and leaves. Often, leaves will get sucked into the main fan compartment. Turn the power to your condenser off and remove the protective bird guard on top. This cage can be removed just by taking out a couple of screws. Then, with a wet/dry vacuum, you can suck any leaves out of the fan compartment. While you have access to the fan, you should also wipe down the blades and check for rusting.
Clean the Condenser Coils
Next, you want to clean the condenser coils on the outside of the unit. These coils are a vital component of the heat transfer process. They are made out of sheets of aluminum. The ridges within the sheets have a small gap between them that can get clogged with dirt. Luckily, you can easily spray this dirt out with a hose. Of course, you also want to do this while the power is turned off. If, after spraying down the condenser coils, you still notice dirt between the ridges, you can use a little bit of soap or household cleaner to help break down the dirt and then spray it out again.
Covering the Condenser
Let your condenser dry off before you start to cover it up. Most condenser manufacturers will sell designated covers for each particular make and model. However, you can also find generic covers at most home improvement or HVAC stores. If you get a cover that seems to be a little too big, you should use bungee cords to help secure the bottom. It is very important that your cover is as secure as possible, especially if you live in an area with harsh, wet, and windy winter conditions.
If you do these things, your condenser unit will be ready to fire up and start working with full efficiency when the next summer comes around. If you notice any problems with your condenser while performing these steps, contact an AC repair company for assistance.
My name is Maura, and I am certified in HVAC installation and repair. I have many clients who call me in a panic because they have turned on their air conditioners and nothing has happened. Your air conditioning technician will get to you as soon as possible, but there are some steps you can take while you are waiting. You might just find that you are able to fix the problem on your own, although you will still want to have a professional assess the situation. In this blog I will take you through some common reasons your air conditioner might not be working and show you some easy temporary solutions.