Why Cleaning Condenser Coil On A Regular Basis Is Important?

HVAC-R system involves heat transfer. A condenser unit is a device or unit used to condense a gaseous refrigerant into a liquid state through lowering its temperature (cooling) by a rotating condenser fan.

Condenser coils are normally made of soft copper tubing with aluminum fins. Nowadays more and more condenser coils are made of aluminum tubing to reduce material cost. Both copper and aluminum have thermal conductivity that can efficiently transfer heat. To let heat transferring more efficient aluminum fins are put around coil tubing which increases the surface area of condenser coil. Condenser fan pulls air flow through fins and takes heat away from condenser coil and fins and lowers refrigerant temperature.

Cleaning the condenser coil and fins is essential to ensure an HVAC-R system works efficiently. Dirt and debris in the air flowing through fins are collected on the surfaces of coil and fins, which will block air flow and prevent heat transfer.

dirty air conditioner condenser coil
Dirty AC Condenser Coil
dirty refrigerator condenser coil
Dirty Refrigerator Condenser Coil
clogged AC condenser coil
Clogged Condenser Coil

Dirty or blocked condenser coils are one of the most frequent service problems in the residential and commercial air conditioning and refrigeration systems. When a condenser coil is dirty or blocked its ability to transfer heat will be severely reduced. The function of the condenser is to condense hot gaseous refrigerant vapor into liquid refrigerant. When less heat be rejected from condenser coil the heat will start to accumulate and make condensing temperature to rise.

In HVAC-R systems higher temperature means higher pressure, or higher pressure means higher temperature. At some points gaseous refrigerant couldn’t be condensed into 100% liquid. Refrigerant gas enters metering device (TXV or Piston) which causes less refrigeration effect.

Less heat is rejected from condenser coil due to dirty and blockage, which also causes higher discharge pressure.  Compressor will have to work harder to compress refrigerant to a higher pressure (higher compression ratio). If discharge temperature higher than 225 F compressor lubricant oil will start to degrade. Your compressor will be burned out eventually. For more information on how dirty or blocked condenser coil affects air conditioning system please read the article “Dirty Condenser Coils Are the Culprits That Cause Many HVACR Problems” published on achrnews.com.

Bent condenser coil fins also block air flow and affect heat rejection as dirty or blockage does. When mowing a lawn a mower can mechanically knock the condenser unit and bend the coil fins. Also, washing a condenser unit with higher pressure will bend the coil fins. You can use condenser coil fin repair tool to straight them.

bent condenser coil fins
Bent Coil Fins
bent AC coil fin
Bent AC Coil Fins
AC coil fin repair
Coil Fin Repair Comb