5 Tips for Maintaining Your Outdoor Condenser Unit

An outdoor condenser unit outside of a residential home

Less-than-perfect air conditioning is an undesirable thing. The electricity bill increases but the levels of comfort doesn't. This issue is particularly seen if required AC maintenance is not done to your outdoor condenser unit. The condenser unit is rarely used during the winter months and if it does not receive proper service and maintenance, then there are chances that it might malfunction. Moreover, if this unit is located outside your home, then additional factors like the weather, growth of weeds, and pests and critters can affect its performance.

 

So, in this article, we discuss in detail what outdoor condenser units are, factors that can hamper its effectiveness, and how you can maintain them. Read on to learn more:

What is an Outdoor Condenser Unit?

The condenser unit is the box-like part of your AC that sits outside your home. It does the vital task of taking the removed heat from inside your home to be released into the surrounding air. An optimally running AC condenser unit is thus crucial to maintaining desirable temperatures within the house without running a high electricity consumption.

A condenser unit is typically made up of the following parts:

  • The compressor: This is the heart of the condenser system. Its function is to compress the refrigerant fluid and pump it as a hot gas to the coil.
  • Condenser coil: Made with highly heat-conducting elements like copper tubing with aluminum fins or all-aluminum tubing, the coils help in releasing the heat to the outside air. 
  • Condenser fan: The fan is a crucial part of the condenser unit. It circulates the air around the coil to facilitate the transfer of the heat.
  • Other controls: This includes the refrigerant lines (that connect the indoor and outdoor units) and other mechanisms that control the operation of the unit.

Factor That Can Affect Performance

For an AC condenser unit that is installed outside your home, certain factors can affect its performance. Some of these are as follows:

  • Accumulation of dust and other contaminants on the casing of the unit.
  • Presence of critters, rodents, and pests.
  • Weeds and other unwanted plants that may grow near the unit and find their way in through the openings, thus blocking ventilation.
  • Impacts from weathering of the unit like the formation of rust.

Maintaining your Condenser Unit

While proper AC maintenance is best left to the professionals, there are certain steps that you can follow to ensure that the overall process becomes easier. These steps will also allow you to increase the life of your AC condenser by taking care of preventable issues.

1. Hose down the exterior casing

Using a water hose, you can gently and carefully wash off the debris and dust that accumulates on the external casing of the unit. However, before doing this, be sure to turn off the electrical power of the unit to prevent any mishaps. 

2. Trim those weeds

If there is foliage growth in the area surrounding the AC condenser unit, then trim it regularly. This will reduce the chances of unwanted hedges and weeds blocking the vents.

3. Landscape

Many people choose to landscape around their condenser units, especially if they are installed in their gardens. You can set up a perimeter around the unit and pave it with gravel, cement, or concrete blocks. This will ensure that plants and grass do not grow around the unit at all.

4. Cover the Vents

An excellent way to deter rodents and critters from affecting your unit is by covering all vents with mesh. This will take care of the problem without affecting the performance.

5. Create a Shade

To ensure that your unit is not affected too much by the elements of weather, you can build a shade to cover it. This is an excellent way to protect the condenser from the impact of harsh sunlight or getting too wet in the rain.

Professional AC Maintenance Services

If you are on the lookout for HVAC service in Stuart and surrounding areas, or maintenance services, search no further than American Air Cares. Our licensed, insured and highly experienced professionals are your best bet when it comes to regular AC maintenance. Additionally, we are a family-owned and operated business with more than 20 years of industry experience and we guarantee quality services.