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How To Clean Your Condenser Unit

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There's never a bad time to service your central air. Whether you've noticed reduced airflow or less cold when you are running your AC, the problem could have something to do with your condenser motor. This article explains how to quickly and cheaply clean the main compartment and fan of your AC condenser unit.

What Is the Condenser Unit?

The condenser unit of a central air conditioning system is a large box that is located next to the building, on the outside. It is basically responsible for transferring warm air out of your home. If the condenser is not working properly, both your heating and air-conditioning systems will be less effective.

Cleaning the Compartment

Before you do any work on the condenser, you want to make sure the power is turned off. Most units don't have a typical power switch, so you need to hit the breaker switch. You don't want the condenser to power on in the middle of working on it. Once the power is off, the first thing you should do is remove the protective cage on top. This cage is usually easy to remove by just taking out a couple of screws. Once the screws are removed, you can set the protective cage to the side. At this point you will have easy access to the fan and main compartment.

First, you should clean out the entire compartment, including the floor. You will probably need a hose vacuum with an extension to reach the bottom of the compartment. You might also need flashlights so you can actually see down there. It is necessary to inspect the fan blades for any rust or mold. Since the blades are usually metal, and exposed to the rain, rust is not uncommon. A small amount of rust will not be harmful, but it can get to a point where it starts to actually deteriorate the blades and make them weaker. If this is the case, you should definitely call an HVAC specialist like Bob Bergen Heating & Air Conditioning to get your blades replaced. If not, just wipe them down with a damp rag.

Cleaning the Input Valve

When cleaning the compartment, you want to pay special attention to the input hose. The valve for the hose is usually at the bottom of the compartment, underneath the fan blades. If there is any dust or leaves clogging this opening, it can greatly reduce air flow into the condenser as you can see, this repair is very quick and simple. However, if you failed to maintain your condenser fan, it can become costly to fix in the long run. It is better to get it done now and do the work on your own, rather than waiting and having to pay a professional to make more serious repairs.