When it comes to keeping your air conditioning system in optimal condition, cleaning your outdoor compressor unit is an absolute must. When you initially look at the dirt and grime that gets stuck onto the components of your outdoor compressor unit, you may be thinking that you’ll want to use a high-pressure power washer. Unfortunately, doing so can actually damage the sensitive internal components of your system.
Sensitive Metals Can Be Damaged
Some of the internal components of your air conditioning system, such as its fins and coils, are constructed of sensitive copper and aluminum metals. Under high pressure, these metals can bend and become dented. In some severe cases, these metals will even sustain holes from the pressure.
What to Use Instead
Instead of using a power washer to clean your outdoor compressor unit, it’s highly recommended that you stick to a simple garden hose and the right cleaners. You can use pressure from a garden hose to help dislodge debris that is stuck in the various fins and other internal areas of your air conditioning system.
When it comes to cleaning the actual coils inside of your compressor unit, you’ll likely notice that they can’t be easily cleaned with a hose. These condenser coils attract a lot of dirt and grime that requires an industrial-strength cleaner to remove. You can find this cleaner at many of your local hardware stores, and it’s specifically designed to remove grime from the surface of the condenser coils in your air conditioning system.
How to Properly Clean the Compressor Unit
Before you start to clean any part of your air conditioning system, it’s important that you kill the power to it at the circuit breaker. This will protect you from any electrical hazards that may occur and will also protect the components of your system from any sort of damage. When you first walk up to your outdoor compressor unit, you’ll notice it has a cover with a variety of screws that will need to be removed in order to take the cover off.
As you’re removing the cover, it’s important that you realize there are a lot of wires that are hooked up to the electrical components that are attached to the cover. You want to carefully disconnect all the wires and make a note of where they go so that you can properly reconnect everything once you’re done cleaning it.
Start With a Simple Vacuum
If you have a Shop-Vac or another vacuum that you’re okay using to collect outside debris, then go ahead and use it. The idea is to remove as much debris as possible from the inside of your air conditioning unit before you get it wet. Make sure that you take your vacuum over all the fins so that you can suck out any debris that is stuck between them.
Next, you want to use your garden hose to try and remove any leftover debris that you weren’t able to get with the vacuum. Be sure to read the directions on your industrial condenser cleaner before you use it. Most cleaners require that you apply them to the condenser coil and let them sit about five to 10 minutes before washing them off. This will give the cleaners time to activate and work to remove the stuck-on grime. Once you rinse off the condenser coils and the rest of the interior of the unit, go ahead and put the cover back on it. Make sure that you reconnect the wires correctly so that your system will work flawlessly.
Taking Care of the Surrounding Area
It’s crucial to note that the area surrounding your outdoor compressor unit can greatly affect the overall efficiency of your system. When there are obstructions against the compressor unit, like leaves pushing up against the fins, it will reduce your air conditioner’s ability to disperse the heat from inside your home. This will cause you to run your air conditioning system more often to try and combat its decreased ability to cool your home.
It’s a good idea to be mindful of the area surrounding your outdoor compressor unit. Make sure that you’re trimming back any overgrown vegetation like shrubs or tree limbs that are hanging within a three-foot radius of the compressor unit. Also, make sure that any other obstructions, like fencing, are properly removed from the area so that your system can work optimally.
Quality AC Services
Totally Cool Heating & Air offers quality AC services for the entire Austin, TX area. Our technicians will be more than happy to assist you with all of your heating, indoor air quality, commercial, duct sealing, duct replacement, solar window screen, and attic insulation needs. Simply contact our office today to get the help that you need with your home.