Since your outdoor condenser has constant exposure to the elements, it is — in a sense — the most vulnerable part of your air conditioner.
Understanding the potential causes of damage to your condenser is essential to prevent unexpected breakdowns and prolong the life of the unit.
Here are four tips that will help you protect your AC condenser.
1. Trim Foliage Around the Condenser
Airflow is a fundamental need for any air conditioning system to function efficiently. Airflow blockages in any part of the system, including the condenser, will lead to increased strain and potentially shorten its life.
Keeping a few feet of space clear around the condenser will allow it to breathe.
This includes cutting trees and trimming foliage that may grow too close to the condenser.
You have several options for landscaping around your condenser that will not block airflow.
Hedges are a popular choice, as they can easily be trimmed to the desired shape and size.
You may also choose to build a trellis or lattice around the condenser to support climbing plants.
However, keep plants that drop their leaves in the fall far from your condenser so that it does not clog with debris.
2. Use Shade to Prevent Overheating
The specific role of the condenser is condensing refrigerant to release heat into the outdoor air.
The cooler the air is around your condenser, the easier it can dissipate heat.
Conversely, high temperatures around the condenser force it to work harder and may lead to overheating.
Keeping your condenser out of direct sunlight will improve heat transfer and may even reduce your cooling costs.
The most proactive approach to shading your condenser is installing it in a shady area in the first place.
If this is not the case, you can add shade in other ways.
Planting trees or tall hedges on the west side of the condenser will provide it with shade during the hottest parts of the day.
Since condensers are almost always installed next to a home’s exterior, you can also consider installing an awning on the side of your home.
3. Learn to Identify and Repel Pests
Your condenser is not only at risk from environmental factors.
Pests can be drawn to the moisture that the condenser naturally produces and may even attempt to take shelter inside it to hide from extreme heat or cold.
Learn to spot the signs of pest activity around the condenser, such as droppings, gaps in the coils near the bottom of the unit, and chewed wires or refrigerant lines.
You can do a lot to discourage pests from attempting to house themselves inside your condenser.
Clean the unit regularly to remove droppings and traces of urine that may attract other pests, and consider using pest repellent if you find significant signs of pest activity.
Consider using decorative stones or masonry as ground cover around the condenser to deter ants and other insects.
4. Be Careful When Doing Yardwork
Mowing your lawn or using a leaf blower poses a risk of physical damage to your condenser.
These activities can sling small rocks and other debris that may damage the coils or break refrigerant lines if they hit the unit.
They can also throw dirt and small particles that can clog the condenser coils and block airflow.
Point leaf blowers and mower discharge chutes away from the condenser when possible.
Taking a few steps to protect your condenser can help it last just as long as the rest of your air conditioner.
For more AC maintenance tips and quality service and repairs, contact Chrismon Heating & Cooling today.
We look forward to helping you.