How to Clean Your AC Fan Compartment and Condenser

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Few things are more frustrating than appliances that simply won't stop having trouble. In addition to disrupting your daily routine, appliances with problems can also absorb a great deal of your time. A few months ago, I spent an entire Saturday trying to figure out why our dishwasher wasn't working. To end these kinds of problems, I decided that it would be smart to invest in an appliance services plan. Simply put, professional technicians would come out and repair our appliances whenever they stopped working properly. This plan was a lifesaver for our family, and this blog is all about why.

How to Clean Your AC Fan Compartment and Condenser

26 April 2016
 Categories: , Blog

If your air conditioner doesn't seem to be blowing cold air, there could be a problem with the condenser unit. The condenser unit is located on the outside of the house right next to the building. Since it is exposed to the elements, it can get dirty, and this can reduce its ability to produce cold air. This is a particularly common problem for homeowners who fail to cover their condenser unit during the winter months. This article explains how to clean off your condenser unit and make sure it is fully functional before you use it. In many cases, you will notice a marked improvement in the cold air production of your AC.

Remove the Cage

The first thing you need to do is remove the protective cage from your condenser unit. The cage is attached to the unit with a couple of screws. Once the screws are removed, you can just lift the cage up and off the unit.

Clean Out the Compartment

Once you have the cage removed, you can access the main fan compartment. A lot of debris can fall into the main compartment over the years. With a hose vacuum, you can clean out all the way to the bottom of the compartment. Also, wipe down the fan blades with a wet rag. There is also a vent fitting that leads from the backside of the condenser unit into the house. If this fitting is clogged or blocked with leaves, you will have serious airflow problems. You should try and vacuum this out, but also use a stick or long screwdriver to probe into the fitting and make sure there are no clogs inside the duct (be careful not to damage the fitting).

Clean the Aluminum Fins

While the cage is removed, you will notice the exterior walls of the condenser unit are lined with aluminum sheets. These sheets have small ridges which are called fins. If the fins get clogged and dirty, the entire condenser unit will struggle to release heat. This slows down the refrigerant system and ultimately reduces the amount of cold air that the air conditioner can produce. You can easily clean the condenser fans with the hose. First, try spraying the fins with the hose. If this does not get the job done, you can use some spray soap or all-purpose cleaner to help break up the dirt before spraying it out.

Once your coils are clean, you can put the case back on your condenser unit and reattach the screws. Finally, turn the power back on and enjoy your AC. If you would like to have your air conditioner professionally cleaned and inspected, contact a company like Service Resource.