How to Clean Your Condensers and Control Board

Posted on: 25 July 2016

Your AC system needs to be cleaned and serviced on a regular basis. The condenser unit that is on the outside of your home (often just called the AC unit) is bound to get dirty and less efficient over time. This is why it is so important that you cover it during the seasons when you aren't using it. In fact, it is a good idea to clean your condenser unit before the summer hits. This article explains how to clean the control board and condenser coils.

Cleaning the Control Board

Before you begin either of these jobs, it is very important that you shut the power to your condenser off. This does not just mean having your thermostat set to "off." Most units don't have an actual power switch, so you need to cut the power at the breaker.

Once the power is off, locate the control board. It is a small box along the backside of the unit. It is usually between the wall and the unit. You can also follow the power line from the house into the control panel. The box will have a panel that can be taken off by removing a couple of screws. You will basically see a lot of wires and small computer-like chips. Since the box is so exposed to the elements, there is always a risk of things getting dirty and wet inside. Water and dirt can lead to shorts in the electrical system. Even a little dirt can slow down the operation, often causing the ignition switch to work improperly. So, even if it looks like everything is fine, it is still a good idea to gently vacuum any dust out of the box. Play close attention to the wires and make sure they are properly connected before putting the panel back on the board.

Cleaning the Condensers

The condensers, which are the coils that line the exterior of the unit, are easy to clean. Since they are protected by the metal cage, it is best to clean them out with a hose. The thin ridges on the aluminum that lines the condenser coils can get clogged with dirt. In most cases, a strong stream of water will knock the majority of the dirt loose. However, you might need to spray some liquid cleaner onto the coils to help break down the dirt.

Don't be afraid to get your entire unit wet while spraying it down. However, it is probably a good idea to wait for the unit to dry off before you turn the power back on. For more information on cleaning your AC unit, consult a company such as United Heating Cooling and Plumbing Inc.

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Working with an HVAC Contractor to Care for Your System

As a homeowner, you know how important your HVAC system is for comfort throughout the year. If the air conditioner or heater is not working properly, it can result in higher energy costs as the system struggles to keep your home temperatures in a comfortable range. Working with an HVAC contractor will help you maintain your system for reliable use long term, and possibly help you cut your power bills enough to notice the savings at the end of the year. Check out the pages on this website to learn more about how to find the perfect HVAC contractor to work with and how you can be of assistance to them when it comes to keeping your system in tip-top shape.