Four Common Problems That Plague AC Condenser Coils

The condenser is one of the most critical parts of your AC (air conditioner); this is where the heat exchange takes place. This means you need to be aware of the common problems that plague the condenser, such as these four problems:

Dirt and Debris Accumulation

If dirt or other kinds of debris accumulate on the condenser coils, they act as an insulator over the coils. This means they block the flow of air over the coils, which effectively reduces the exchange of heat between the refrigerant flowing through the coils and the outside air. As a result, your unit will be running but not cooling your house as well as it should.

Here are some of the causes of debris accumulation over the condenser coils:

·         Wind-blown dust

·         Mold growth

·         Tree leaves or bits of grass

·         Dead rodents

Ice Accumulation

There are also cases where the evaporator coil freezes, the resultant ice also blocks airflow over the coils, and the result is the same as a coil chockfull of debris. The presence of ice or frost over the coil typically means there is an underlying problem with the AC. Here are some of the common causes of ice accumulation over condenser coils:

·         Restricted airflow, for example, due to dirty coils

·         Clogged refrigerant tubes

·         Extremely low outside temperatures

Damaged Fins

The condenser fins help in cooling because they increase the surface area of the condenser and brings the refrigerant into close contact with the outside air; this encourages efficient heat exchange. Unfortunately, the fins are rather delicate (they have to be because thick ones would block airflow), and they can easily be damaged by physical forces. For example, bits of rock thrown against the fins by a lawnmower or a strong wind can damage them; the more fins are damaged the less efficient the condenser will be.

Refrigerant Leaks

The refrigerant keeps your house cool by absorbing heat inside the house and transporting it outside. This means the AC will struggle to maintain comfortable temperatures if the refrigerant volume is inadequate, which will be the case if there is a refrigerant leak. The refrigerant can leak from many areas including the condenser; for example, the condenser coil may leak refrigerant if it is old and corroded or if has been damaged in an accident (for example, if a large tree falls on it).

Does your condenser have a problem? Consult an AC technician, such as from A & A Service Company, as soon as possible before the problem gets more serious.