During the summer, you may depend upon your home's air conditioner, running day and night, to keep your home comfortable. It is important to keep your ac well-maintained and in good repair to help it work as efficiently as possible. Here are two easy maintenance tasks you can handle by yourself and help improve the efficiency of your air conditioner.
Repair Bent Condenser Coil Fins
The exterior of your outside air conditioner condenser unit is covered with a series of thin metal fins, set closely together, creating a grill-like pattern. Beneath this grill of metal fins are the air conditioner's copper refrigerant coils, which carry the heat from your home. Air is blown over the copper tubes and out of the metal fins to help cool the refrigerant and your home. When the metal fins become bent, they block this outflow of warm air and decrease the heat transfer, making your air conditioner work harder.
Often, the fins can become bent when they are hit with something, such as a rock from a lawnmower, the weed eater, hail, or water from a pressure washer. It may be easy for you to recognize bent fins on your air conditioner's unit, as they will appear as shiny silver patches on the fins. Fortunately, you can repair these bent fins by yourself and avoid having to buy replacement fins or a new air conditioner unit.
First, shut off the power to your outside AC compressor unit, using the outdoor shutoff or switching the power breaker to the unit. Then, remove the outside grill cover to your AC unit by removing any attachment screws holding the cover in place. Next, you will need a fin coil repair kit, which you can find at most home improvement stores. You will need to use the right size fin repair comb, so count how many fins are in one inch on your AC unit. Air conditioner fins can have anywhere from eight to twenty fins per inch of space.
To repair the fins of your AC unit, place the repair comb into a section of fins. Run the comb down the length of the fins to straighten any bent fins. Repeat this process around the outside of your condenser's fins until all fins have been straightened. If you encounter any fins that have been bent too far for the repair comb to fit between, us a butter knife to carefully pry up each fin so you can use the comb to straighten them the rest of the way. As you use the butter knife, be careful not to damage the copper tubing embedded beneath the fins.
Protect Your AC's Exterior Condenser Line
The metal tubing that runs from your home's outdoor air conditioner unit to inside your home provides the main supply of cool air to your home. If this line is allowed to form condensation, it can cause your home's air conditioning to not work as efficiently as it should and will raise your energy bill. To prevent condensation, the line is covered with an insulated foam tube; however, over time, the sun and weather can cause it to deteriorate and rot. For this reason, it is important to inspect your air conditioner's main line insulation for damage needing repair each spring when you service your AC unit.
First, shut off power to your outdoor unit, then remove the old, damaged insulation from around the AC unit's main line. This line is the larger tube extending from the outdoor AC unit to an opening in your home's exterior wall. You don't need to worry about insulating any smaller wires that you may find next to the larger line. You will need to order replacement insulation foam tubing and insulation tape for your AC line from a local or online refrigeration supply dealer, as these materials are not usually found at home improvement outlets. Be sure to measure the diameter of your AC unit's tubing so you can order the right replacement size insulation foam.
At each end of the air conditioner's line, connecting to the air conditioner unit and entering into your home, dry off any moisture from the line and wrap a length of insulation tape around the line. Next, cut the foam tubing to fit the length of the AC unit's line. The foam tubing will have a slit opening down its length so you can slip it onto and fit it around the AC unit's line. After you have the foam in place on the line, remove the lining from inside the slit, revealing the adhesive coating on the slit opening. Press the edges together completing the seal on the foam tubing and insulating your AC line.
Use this information to help keep your AC unit working efficiently in good condition. For more information, contact a company like Hayes Heating & Cooling.