Have you ever had your AC system break down in the peak of summer? If you have, you know how rough that is. Seriously, we wouldn’t be able to survive a Houston summer without air conditioning. And that’s why it’s important to understand the ins and outs of your system to get the right kind of AC repair and to make sure it’s being properly maintained.
Condenser coils play a large role in your AC system. Their main purpose is to take the concentrated heat collected from the inside of your home and dump it outside. Without them, the inside of our home would be hot, humid, and unlivable. But just like everything else, they break down from time to time. If you know what causes them to fail, you can take preventative steps to maintain them so they will run more efficiently and last longer. Read on to learn why condenser coils fail and what you can do to prevent it from happening.
Are your AC coils dirty?
I know you’re probably thinking that your unit is located outside, so it’s bound to get dirty, right? That’s true. While the condenser unit is designed to keep its inside coils clean, over time dirt and other debris will get inside no matter what. The more dirt you have covering the coils the less effective the coils will be, and they will eventually break down altogether. Dirty coils cause three main problems:
- Shortened life on your AC system: The dirtier your coils are, the harder your whole system has to run in order to cool your house. This causes stress on your system and this unnecessary stress decreases the life of your AC unit.
- A hotter home: As we mentioned before, one of the roles of coils is to transfer hot air out of your home. Dirty coils have a hard time doing everything, especially moving heat from inside your house to the outside. This will cause your house to not get as cool as you would like it to be and will leave you and your family feeling very uncomfortable.
- Increased energy usage: Dirt covering your coils stresses your AC unit and causes it to work harder than it should. The harder your system is working, the more energy it is using, and the more you are paying monthly.
“The main reason coils fail is due to lack of maintenance. They don’t get cleaned and they get deposits inside them which effect the efficiency of the coils themselves,” said John Moore Services HVAC Manager Charles Griffith. “They should be properly cleaned and washed out every year to make sure air flows through them the way it is supposed to.”
Do your AC coils have leaks?
Leaks in the condenser coils can be caused by a variety of issues, and if you have a leak you will know pretty quickly. If you notice your home not cooling like it once did, chances are you have a leak. Leaks can be caused by a variety of different things:
- Loose or old parts: A valve cap that needs to be replaced can cause leaks as well as loose fittings that may simply need to be adjusted.
- Corrosion: Do you have a pool in your backyard? If you do, the chlorine from the pool can deteriorate and corrode your coils. Water from sprinkler systems that spray on your unit can also corrode it. Animals have also been known to corrode coils by urinating on them.
- Aluminum parts: Some older systems may have coils that are made from aluminum, which will easily corrode overtime, causing leaks. A great alternative to aluminum is copper. Copper is a stronger, more durable material that can better withstand the elements and will last a long time.
Do you have children that like to play outside?
Physical damage to condenser coils is another reason for failure. Balls or other toys get thrown at the unit and children bump into it. This repetitive hitting of the unit causes the coils to become loose and fail. You should also be careful when mowing your lawn because the impact of a lawn mower hitting your unit can cause the coils to rattle and become damaged.
Showing your children the outdoor AC unit and explaining to them its importance is the best thing to do in these situations. Ask them to play on the other side of the yard, or put a protective fence around the unit to avoid any unnecessary damage.
Many things can cause damage to condenser coils, but the most important thing to remember is continual maintenance. If you have your AC unit inspected by a licensed HVAC technician once a year, you can make sure it will stay clean and you can catch and fix leaks in the system before they become a larger problem. John Moore Services offers a 31-point AC inspection, which includes a thorough check of your entire AC system. If you find and fix the problems now, you can rest soundly knowing your AC unit will keep you cool during the hot summer months. Give us a call today so you can stay cool all summer long!