An air conditioner condenser is one half of the whole cycle of cooling with the use of the evaporator coil. Its main function in the system is to reject and diffuse heat as on the other hand, the evaporator coil helps to absorb heat. All HVAC technicians learn this as the first step in their cooling education. The condenser is located in the big boxy exterior unit at most buildings. Heat pumps also use condensers, but most people do not use heat pumps because the efficiency of heat pumps decreases as the temperature drops.
The condenser along with the compressor is the main transferor of heat between the outside air and the air blowing through your house. To do this, inside the cycle for cooling, the compressor should have a seal, and this is actually the main reason as to why replacements are very common these days. It is very hard to try and repair something that is sealed within the system. On the other hand, there are many things you can do to try and maintain the life of your condensing unit. If not properly maintained, the condenser and most other air conditioning parts will go into a downward spiral before they self-destruct. As the parts of this device become less functional, some of the parts such as the blower motor and the compressor begin to work extra harder to ensure it keeps cooling despite reduced ability. This leads to the failing of the parts.
One thing you can do to maintain your HVAC system to check the outside cooling unit before summer starts and it is in heavy use. It is recommended calling an air conditioner company to perform the check, but if you feel handy and know how to operate around electricity, and then go ahead. The first step before doing any work on a condensing unit is to shut off the breaker supplying electricity to the unit. Spin the fan and see if it turns. Then turn on the power and switch on the thermostat and make sure the fan starts blowing upward a good deal.
Checking on the condenser fan should be done on regular basis before operating it because it is connected to the compressor. A failure at the fan can overload the compressor, and the compressor is a much more expensive part than the condenser motor.
Dirt can build up in the condenser coils such as the evaporator coils which will decrease efficiency. Just like everything else in the central air, as efficiency goes down, the system tries to work harder to compensate until it fails. The solution is to call us at Dove AC to clean the condenser coils. You can also do it yourself, but you will need to turn the thermostat and breaker off and pull the plug on the condenser electrical box. You will need to spray the condenser with enough pressure to remove dirt without bending the fins. A little soap can help too. The key to maintaining performance with these units is maximizing airflow. So the condenser should be clean and the exterior unit should have clear airflow.
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