Your Central Air Unit's Condenser: What It Is for and Problems That Can Occur


Having central air conditioning is a wonderful thing in the summer until it stops working. If your AC is not cooling your house enough, or if it is not cooling it at all, the problem may be due to a bad or dirty condenser. The condenser is the outdoor part of your AC system, and it serves a major role in the process of cooling air when it is hot. Here are several things you should understand about your AC condenser.

The Purpose of the Condenser

An AC system uses coolant to cool a house, and your system must have enough coolant in it at all times. When the coolant gets low, you may have problems cooling your house. You may also find that the system will not cool your house at all. This problem is easily solved by adding more coolant.

The coolant in the system changes forms during the process of cooling it. It is in liquid form at times, but then it switches to gas form. This process occurs over and over when your AC system is running. As it changes forms, the system extracts heat from the coolant and forces it outside into the air. This process takes place in the system's condenser. If you look at your condenser, you will see fan blades in it. These blades help complete the process by pushing hot air out.

Issues with Condensers

There are two main problems you may have with your AC condenser. The first issue exists because of its location. Because the condenser is located outside, debris may get lodged inside the device. If enough debris gets inside, the condenser might not be able to do its job. Condensers can also stop working when metallic debris gets inside. This typically happens when the compressor of the AC system breaks. If it breaks, small particles of metal can travel to the condenser, which will cause a blockage to occur.

The second issue you may have with your condenser is a leak. A condenser is usually a square, cube-like unit, and it contains a number of different parts. Some of the parts you will find in a condenser are tubes and seals, and these items can wear out with use. If they wear out, they could spring a leak, which would cause the coolant to escape from the system.

Ways to Fix the Problem

If you hire a company that specializes in residential AC systems, they will inspect your condenser to see what the problem is. If the system is just dirty, they may be able to clean it out. While you could try cleaning it out yourself, it is often better to hire an AC specialist to do this. They will typically clean it out with a brush and a vacuum, and this will usually fix the problem.

If the system has a leak somewhere, they will have to replace it. It is extremely difficult to fix a leak inside a condenser unit, and this is why they will probably suggest replacing it. Most AC condensers last between 15 to 25 years, and it may cost around $1,750 to have an AC company do this for you. Keep in mind that when the company does this, they will make sure everything is installed and connected properly, and they will also make sure the system works when they finish the job.

An AC condenser is an important component of your central air system. If your system is not running as well as it should be, you might discover that the condenser is worn out. To learn more about this, contact a company that offers residential air conditioning installation services.


22 January 2016

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