Regular maintenance is the tried-and-true way to maximize the life of your air conditioner. It’s also the best way to get optimal and efficient performance from any cooling system. The more efficiently your air conditioner operates, the more money you’ll save on electric bills, and the more comfortable your indoor environment will be.
Why Is Air Conditioner Maintenance So Important?
Cooling systems are like cars. During the warm months, they labor day in and day out. Without regular care, they lose their ability to keep you cool. A critical component of every air conditioner is the condenser coil. When the condenser coil gets dirty, it causes problems that affect performance and can damage other parts of the system.
What Are Condenser Coils?
Condenser coils are situated in the outdoor unit of your air conditioner. As refrigerant removes heat from your home, it turns into a gas. It then travels to the condenser coils. As the refrigerant gas passes over the coils, it is cooled and changes back into a liquid. It is then recirculated back into your home to cool the air and remove more heat.
What Happens To My AC When The Condenser Coils Get Dirty?
Condenser coils get dirty in the process of cooling the refrigerant. Dirt from the air outside is absorbed into the outdoor cooling unit and begins to build up on the coils. The bigger the buildup, the harder it is for the cooling system to perform. Electric bills increase and indoor comfort decreases because the system needs more energy to keep up with the demand for cooled air. If the condenser coils become too coated with dust and dirt, they can no longer convert the hot refrigerant gas back into a liquid. This can cause your system to stop producing cool air, even though it’s still running. Then the compressor might overheat, causing air conditioner breakdown.
How Can I Maximize The Lifespan Of My Air Conditioner?
Condenser coils should be cleaned every year before the warm weather kicks in. Coil cleaning is included in an A/C tuneup. You can do your part by keeping the area around your outdoor unit clear of dirt, foliage and debris. Ask your technician to also clean the A/C evaporator coils. These coils are located in the indoor A/C unit and should be kept free of dust, smoke and grease extracted from indoor air. These particles can pass through the indoor air filter and collect on the evaporator coils. As the residue builds, it can impede the efficiency of the system, causing higher energy usage. Invest in the best air filter you can afford and keep it scrupulously clean, especially if you have pets. Prepare for every summer by scheduling air conditioning maintenance.