With a hot Omaha summer right around the corner, you know your air conditioner will be working hard. Hiring a dedicated professional to inspect and maintain your unit remains the best way to get your AC in shape. But there are several things you can do on your own to ready your air conditioning unit for the brutal heat of summer.
Make Sure Your Condenser Unit Is Unobstructed
The condenser unit (that large box that sits outside) is the heart of a central air conditioning system. It is responsible for refreshing and circulating the refrigerant used to cool your home. Because it is outdoors, the unit is vulnerable to dirt and debris that can impede its performance.
One of the most basic things you can do for your AC is to ensure that the condenser unit remains clean and unobstructed. Remove any leaves, plants, or bushes that touch the unit. Ideally, there should be at least two feet of space around the condenser on all sides. This space guarantees that the unit can enjoy the necessary degree of airflow.
Clean Your Condenser Unit
One of the responsibilities of the condenser unit is to pass unwanted heat from the refrigerant to the air around the condenser. This transfer happens thanks to a dense network of thin metal fins. Over time, these fins often accumulate a layer of dirt and debris that can slow down the rate of heat transfer. You can ensure proper functioning by spraying down your condenser fins with a hose.
Straighten Your Condenser Fins
In order to work at peak efficiency, your condenser fins should remain perfectly parallel to one another. Unfortunately, the delicate metal fins often end up getting bent or crushed by accidental contact. Bent fins reduce the overall efficiency of your unit, causing it to work harder to accomplish its cooling task.
Fortunately, you can often repair bent fins using a tool known as a condenser fin comb. Running this comb over the surface of the fins will straighten out the fins and allow them to transfer heat with the desired level of efficiency. You can pick up a fin comb at your local home improvement store for under ten dollars.