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2 Problems Caused By Neglecting To Have Your Central A/C Unit's Condenser Coils Professionally Cleaned When They Are Dirty

by Feride Halma

As spring approaches, you may be making preparations for when you can turn off the heat and start up the central air conditioner. As part of these preparations, you may have uncovered the outdoor unit and performed a visual inspection. 

As you inspect the unit, you may have noticed that the condenser coils have dirt, mud, and grim caked to their surfaces. While this issue may seem to be something insignificant, there are a couple of problems that arise when you neglect to have the condenser coils in your home's central A/C unit cleaned by a professional after discovering that they are dirty.

1. Significantly Decreases Your Air Conditioner's Capacity to Efficiently Cool the Air Flowing Through the Condenser

One problem that is caused by dirty condenser coils in your home's central A/C unit is that the grimy coating will significantly decrease the condenser's capacity to efficiently cool the air flowing through it. When hot air flows around the coils, the heat is drawn out of them while the refrigerant running through the coils cools it down.

If the surfaces of the coils are covered with dirt, mud, and other debris, this reduces the areas where the transfer of heat and cold can take place. The result is that the air will be less cool when it reaches your home's vents, and the system will have to work hard to keep up.

2. Drastically Increases the Risk of Corrosion Forming under the Dirt and Grim on the Surfaces of the Condenser's Coils

Another problem that often occurs when condenser coils are not thoroughly cleaned by a professional is that there is a drastic increase in the risk of surface corrosion on the coils. Because moisture from the hot, muggy air becomes trapped under the grime, it starts to eat away at the metal, causing the coils to rust.

If the rust makes its way through the surface, it can cause refrigerant leaks, and the coils would need to be replaced. When you have an HVAC professional clean the coils, they can check for any corrosion so that it can be safely removed before this happens.

If you have noticed that the condenser coils in your home's central A/C unit are coated with dirt, the grime will decrease the cooling capacity of the system as well as increase the chance that surface corrosion will form on the coils. While it may seem simple to clean, you should contact an HVAC service professional to do it who has the experience and tools to do so without damaging the coils and who can also check for corrosion after the dirt is cleaned off. 

Reach out to an HAVC company near you to learn more.