When your home has central air conditioning, you may already know that you need to clean the outside of the unit clear of debris and to change the filters on a monthly basis. However, the inside of the unit can also get dirty, especially the condenser coils. If these are not cleaned regularly, there are a couple of potential problems that could arise.
1. Makes the Condenser Run Harder than Normal
One issue that dirty condenser coils can cause is that it makes the condenser itself run harder than normal. As part of its job, it regulates the release of heat as the air coming from your home and the coolant passes through the coils, which cools the air so that it can be delivered back to your house.
However, if the coils become caked with dirt, dust, and grime, the condenser is not able to perform this function efficiently. You may notice that your home does not stay as cool as it should. You may also find that your unit runs more often.
This extra workload can eventually take its toll on the condenser. If it gets to the point that you hear odd noises or warm air starts blowing throughout your house, you may be faced with costly repairs. Keeping the coils clean can help you avoid this scenario.
2. Causes the Condenser to Freeze Up
Even if the dirty condenser coils have not pushed the condenser to the point that it fails completely, they could cause another problem because of its inability to fully regulate the temperature exchange between the air and coolant. If the grime is not removed from the surfaces of the coils, you may find that your condenser freezes up more often.
However, this issue could also be caused by setting your thermostat lower than the temperature outside. You can test this by allowing your A/C unit to thaw out, then turning the thermostat up a few degrees. If the unit continues to freeze up even when you watch these settings, there is a good possibility that the coils are dirty and interfering with the condenser's normal function.
If you have noticed issues with your unit's ability to cool your home because the coils are dirty, you may be tempted to clean them yourself. However, since they are quite fragile and could break if cleaned improperly, you should consider contacting an air conditioning service to them clean the unit for you.