Routine air conditioner tune-ups are necessary to keep your condenser in the best working condition. There are also a few ways you can keep your condenser clean. We had a chat with our expert technician, Omar, and he filled us in on proper condenser care and cleaning tips!
Coil Cleaner Dos and Don’ts
There are several condenser coil cleaners available on the market. These solutions are abrasive and, when not diluted properly, can cause more damage than the dirt you’re trying to clean off.
At ASI, our White Glove Guys use a 10-to-1 ratio, depending on the chosen solvent and whether it’s biodegradable. In our San Diego summers, we are often soaking up sunny rays all season long. It’s important to remember that if you are to use a coil cleaner, do not use it during the warmest part of the day.
The effective condenser coil cleaning solvents are heavily acidic. If you misapply the solution, you run the risk of ruining the manufacturer’s protective coil coating. Over time, this causes the condenser to become eroded or rusty, and homeowners often don’t understand how it happened.
Don’t Hose Down the Condenser
Mother nature loves to share her creations! In this case, we’re talking about dust, pollen, and other floating debris. These elements get introduced to your condenser via wind and weather.
Did you know pollen carries an oily residue? Like most parts of San Diego and Southern California, we live in an area full of pollinating plants. This gets into the air and then straight into your air conditioner.
When your AC fan turns on, the condenser inhales through all sides and takes in high volumes of air into the coils. Too many homeowners assume incorrectly that a quick hose job will clear it all up. While it may appear clean on the outside, all that’s happened is the debris has been pushed deeper into the condenser.
Our techs always remove the top before cleaning. This ensures the unit is clean from the inside out, safely removing dirt, pollen, and debris.
Landscape Strategically Around Your Condenser
Let’s face it, AC units aren’t beautiful displays of art. Homeowners are always coming up with new ways to enhance their curb appeal by adding beautiful landscaping around the condenser. While this can improve the aesthetics, it could cause other problems if not executed properly.
Back It Up
Strategically designed landscaping can improve the efficiency of your air conditioner. Decor and plants placed too close to the unit may obstruct the airflow around your air conditioner.
Restricted airflow means your system is forced to work harder, and this will increase your electric bill while also decreasing the life of your air conditioner.
Your AC unit will also perform better if it’s out of direct sunlight and not working overtime to dissipate the heat. Keep any shade or covers no less than five feet above the unit.
Maintain a minimum of two to three feet on all sides of your condenser but check the owner’s manual for the details on your specific model. Technicians also appreciate a little working space around your condenser when the time comes for any AC maintenance.
What to Plant Around Your Condenser
Choose plants that grow up rather than outwards. Plants that spread can quickly take over and crowd your condenser. Keep your garden mobile by using planter boxes or potted plants that can be moved as needed.
Create a strategically placed windbreak with evergreen plants. Keep your service pros in mind! Avoid anything with sharp leaves, buds that stick to your clothes, or thorns.
Consider a gravel garden! These can be beautifully designed displays that may not hide the condenser but provide a gorgeous distraction.
Install a trellis or lattice cover to provide visual relief without compromising airflow.
If you’re not sure how to clean your unit or keep it working efficiently, don’t take matters into your own hands. It could end up costing you more money for repairs or disabling your AC unit in the middle of a San Diego summer! Call the White Glove Guys at ASI!