The indoor portion of your air conditioner is the part you interact with daily. Understandably, you wouldn’t think about the outdoor unit, also called the condenser, as much. But leaving it neglected can cause you some major problems.

What should you know about your AC unit’s condenser? How can you make sure it functions well?

What happens if it doesn’t? We’ve got all the information you need to better understand your air conditioning in San Antonio.

The Components of the Condenser

  • The Compressor: This component is the most critical, and the one that cannot be repaired if it fails. It pressurizes the refrigerant and helps it to release the heat that it has absorbed from the air in your home.
  • The Coils: These are the tubes the refrigerant travels through, so the heat is released through them. They are vulnerable to damage and wear and tear, and if they wear through or are cracked, refrigerant will leak out of the system.
  • The Fans: To transfer heat from the coils into the surrounding air more effectively, fans blow on the coils to waft the heat away.
  • The Refrigerant Lines: These connect the condenser outside to the rest of your air conditioning system inside your home. The refrigerant that has absorbed heat from your home flows out, and the refrigerant that has released that heat flows in to absorb more.

Condenser Care

The outdoor unit of your air conditioner is vulnerable to a variety of potential problems, mostly having to do with the release of heat being impeded. The condenser needs good airflow to make sure the refrigerant sent back into your home has cooled dramatically. So in addition to making sure you have professional maintenance done once a year, there is some condenser maintenance you should attend to regularly.

  • Plants: If decorative plants, tall grass, shrubs, or tree branches are near your condenser, they need to be trimmed back frequently so they don’t impede air circulation.
  • Debris: If the last fall’s leaves, piles of pine needles, or any other debris are accumulating around the bottom of the condenser, it should be tidied away for the same reason.
  • Dirt: It’s easy for dust to build up on the coils of the condenser, or for mud to be splattered on it. This acts as insulation, which is the last thing you want on the element that should be releasing heat. Spray the coils with a hose to wash them away, but keep the water flow gentle. You don’t want to cause any damage!

Major Condenser Problems

The condenser can be damaged when problems go unaddressed and your air conditioner spends an extended period struggling hard to function. It can be damaged by things that impede the function of the coils, such as the dirt we just mentioned, or ice on the evaporator coils of the indoor unit.

And it can be damaged by trying to function without enough refrigerant. If you suspect a refrigerant leak, it must be repaired immediately.

If the compressor fails, you’ll probably have to replace the air conditioner. It is sometimes possible to replace the condenser unit and salvage the rest of the system, but the indoor and outdoor units must be perfectly matched. A mismatch can accelerate the wear and tear and aging of the system and lead to many repairs and early air conditioner retirement.

Our professionals are ready to take care of you when you reach out. Contact Cowboys Air Conditioning & Heating today to schedule an appointment with our professionals.

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