We will focus on home air conditioner maintenance to the Outside Unit (condenser units). Here it is:
There are two copper lines attach to the condenser unit. It’s the suction and the liquid line.
Go outside and we should see it. The big copper line is Suction Line. The picture below, the insulation to the suction line is tore apart. It needs to be insulated. This is very to save energy on our central air units.
The suction lines insulation occurs from the condenser unit to indoor evaporator unit.
Why does suction line need to be insulating?
It’s to prevent the cold suction line from absorb outdoor heat. We will lose efficiency by not insulating the suction lines. If we were to touch it, it would feel cold. Well, that cold refrigerant needs to be absorbing heat from the indoor, not outdoor heat.
The suction line is always insulated in split central air conditioner unit. As the central ac units get older, the insulator tends to tore apart and we will have to insulate it or pay technician.
This is part of the home air conditioner maintenance everyone could do. Every technician will put in new insulator if he sees the old one tore apart and it will cost us.
We could buy the insulator at our local home improvement story for few bucks and insulate the suction line (big copper line) ourselves.
Proper Refrigerant Level
Technician uses manufacture requirement or slide chart to determine the correct amount of refrigerant the central air conditioner needs.
They find the correct amount of Ac Freon by finding the correct superheat or subcooling temperature. It hard to determine how much refrigerant our close-loop system need if the condenser coil and the evaporator coil are dirty. This is one of the home air conditioner maintenance should be done by technician.
Is Compressor Function Properly?
The compressor is the component that causes the Freon to flows throughout the system. If the compressor is not working properly, it’ll affect the overall efficiency.
In normal operation, the air conditioner compressor should be able to pull 20 inches Hg. vacuum on it suction or low side. This should be in the tune-up section and maintenance.
Clean the Condenser Coil
The condenser coil is located outside. All residential air conditioner units run under the principle of heat transfer.
Air conditioning unit is the ideas of remove absorb heat from one location and reject it to different location.
In split central air conditioning units, the condenser coil is where the heat is being rejected to. If it has debris or dirt; it will act as insulator and prevent the heat transfer to occur faster.
Dirty condenser coil will cause the central air conditioning unit to be inefficient.
If the coil is dirty, we have to clean it or pay technician to clean it with specific chemical. Water will not help if there is stain or extremely dirty.
If we live near the ocean, it is best to clean the condenser once a month. Salt air causes the condenser to corrosive. I do realize that condenser units are coated with corrosive resistant.
Just to be on the safe side.
This is one of the home air conditioner maintenance any homeowner could do. If we decide to clean the outdoor coil, try not to spray water in the electrical components (we can’t see it).
Don’t spray water into this:
Condenser Unit Clearance
Make sure there is not object near or surround the condenser unit. These things could affect the ability of the condenser to rejects heat.
Try to keeping large object 2 feet or greater away from it (yeah, I just pick that number out of the air).
If we have bushes or flower surrounding the condenser unit, try to trim it downs or remove it. This is not good. This is one of the home air conditioner maintenance anyone could do.
Straight Condenser Coil Fins
The condenser coil fins tend to be bending by children or object.
Bend fins has the same affect as dirty coil.
If we have a lot aluminum fins that is bended and our home is not cooling, the first thing we should do is straight the fins. Below is not so bad bending to the aluminum fins.
Fin comb tend to solve the problem.
The technician use fins comb to straight the aluminum fins. It’s time consuming trying to straight the fins. We could buy fins comb on Amazon or any hardware online stories. This is home air conditioner maintenance that does not cost much, except the fins comb.
Is The Condenser Unit Level?
Check to see if the condenser units are level equally. If it not level equally, the vibration from the compressor and the fan motor will cause the round or square metal box to shift to least level direction and slow it will cause damage to the outdoor unit.
Keep Dog Away From Condenser Unit
Dog and central air conditioning maintenance, no I’m not losing my mind! I realize it not part of the home air conditioner maintenance.
If we have dog, trying to keep it always from the condenser unit. Dog urines will eat the aluminum coil away.
Once the aluminum fins rust and collapse, we will have to replace the entire condenser unit. No, contractor can’t just replace the damage fins; it would be great if they could.
I don’t know how fast the urine starts reacting with the aluminum. If we smell dog urines around the condenser unit, try to clean it right away. If we don’t, it will cause us a lot of money to replace it.
We could train our dog not to pee in the condenser unit or build chain links fence around the condenser unit. The fence should be one or two feet always from the condenser unit and its removable. It also should be higher than the dog’s height.
Check for oil leaks
The leak sometime occurs between copper joint. If the joint is leaking, we should see oil underneath it. We could look for it in the condenser coil or the liquid and suction line or in the evaporator coil.