The air conditioning unit that is located outdoors requires more maintenance than most homeowners realize. This part of the air conditioning system contains parts that are vital to the efficient operation of the entire system. Here are some tips for the homeowner on keeping the outside unit working at peak performance. Cincinnati’s Pinnacle Air Solutions’ experience has found these tips to be the best for keeping the unit working well and without excessive service calls.
10 Outdoor AC Unit Tips
- Keep the outdoor condenser coils clean. You might accomplish this by using a shop-vac to clean the coils and the fins, however, you will likely have to use a heavy-duty degreaser or another product made for this purpose. Hose the coils down after using a degreaser and at other times just to clean the coils, but turn the power off first. *Only try this if you know what you are doing. It’s best to call a reputable Cincinnati HVAC company like Pinnacle Air Solutions for this type of work.
- Direct the lawn mower away from the unit when mowing. Grass clippings and other lawn debris can block the coils and the result will be a sharp reduction in the efficiency of the system.
- Weed whackers are a useful yard maintenance tool, but they can be destructive to the outside unit by damaging the coils and the fins, cutting control wires, and shorting out the transformer. This is a frequent occurrence, and a very costly one.
- Shrubs used to provide shading or a sound barrier should be 18” to 30” away from the unit so that they will not interfere with the efficiency of the unit or with servicing.
- Don’t plant bushes or shrubs that will make servicing the unit uncomfortable for the technician.
- If the disconnect box is not within 6’ of the unit or is directly behind it, then the disconnect box should be relocated to the proper position by a master electrician.
- When planting shrubs or bushes around the unit, think about how they will grow over the next 5 or 10 years.
- Make sure that the access panel to the unit is easily accessible to the technician.
- The tip that is most important for keeping the unit working well is keep all accessible parts clean and don’t store anything on top of the unit. Avoid doing anything to restrict airflow.
- The best tip is last: Get on a seasonal maintenance plan to keep your unit running at peak performance during the hot summer months!
You can call Pinnacle Air Solutions at 513.984.4328 for answers to questions about maintenance issues not covered in this article, or to set up an appointment.