When your air conditioner's condenser sits idle through the fall, winter and spring, it is likely that it collected a lot of dirt and debris that need to be cleaned out. Instead of hiring an HVAC repair technician to do it for you, follow these steps to learn how to do it on your own.
Shut Off The Condenser
Your condenser can be shut off in a couple of ways. There is most likely an electrical box located near the condenser that controls that power running to it. It can be shut down by pulling out a block shutoff, a piece that is physically removed from the electrical box, or flipping a switch.
If you cannot locate the electrical box, or it is inaccessible, you can shut down the power at your home's main fuse box.
Clear Away All Debris Outside The Condenser
There will be all kinds of leaves and dirt stuck in the fins of your condenser that need to be removed. Be very careful with how you treat the fins, as they need to remain straight in order for air to flow properly from the condenser. That is why you should use a vacuum that has a soft brush when cleaning off the fins.
Straight Out Bent Fins
There is a chance that some of the fins on your condenser are bent, and they will need to be straightened if possible. You can purchase a fin straightening tool from your local home improvement store, or just use an old butter knife to do it.
You will only need to insert the straightening tool about half an inch to fix any fins that are bent. Run the tool vertically through the fins to give space between them if they are touching. If you are having difficulties getting the fins straight, or there is excessive damage, you might need a professional to fix it for you.
Remove The Condenser's Fan
You will need to access the inside of the condenser to properly clean it, which will involve removing the fan. Remove the grill that on top of the condenser, and then disconnect any screws that hold the fan in place. It is not necessary to disconnect the wiring, just be sure to carefully set the fan blades down next to the compressor.
Clean Out The Fins From Inside The Condenser
All you need is a garden hose with a spray nozzle to finish cleaning out the condenser. With the fan removed, you have easy access to the fins from the inside. Spray them thoroughly, shooting all the remaining dirt and debris out.
With the remaining dirt and debris gone, you can reassemble the fan and turn the power back on. Now your air conditioner's condenser will be clean and ready for summer. Contact a company like Christian Brothers Plumbing Repipe/Broken Water Pipe Service for more information or assistance.