The outside portion of your heating and cooling system is called the condenser unit. Since this part resides outside, it can easily get dirty over time. Here is what you need to do in order to effectively clean your air conditioning condenser unit.
#1 Shut Off The Power
The first thing you need to do is shut off the power to your condenser unit. You can do this by flipping off the breaker switch to the unit or putting the switch for the actual unit into the off position. You don't want to clean the condenser when it is powered up; you could get electrocuted or injured.
#2 Use Your Shop Vacuum
The second thing you need to do is get out your shop vacuum and bring it outside to where your unit is. Take your shop vacuum and put it right next to the unit. Put a soft attachment brush onto your shop vacuum. Move the shop vacuum hose up and down the unit to remove and pull out all of the grass clippings, debris, and leaves that may have gotten into the exterior fins.
#3 Clear Away Debris
Third, cut back all of the bushes and grass that are around your unit. You do not want plants growing around your condenser unit, which can hamper and impair the function of your unit. Clear the area around your unit so that nothing is growing within a couple of feet of your condenser unit.
#4 Fix Damaged Fins
Fourth, you need to fix the damaged fins on your condenser unit. To fix the damaged fins, you are going to want to use a knife to bend them back into place. Use a butter knife so you don't cut or damage the fins. Take the knife, put it into the fins, and push them into place. You should wear some thick leather gloves so you don't accidentally cut yourself on the fins.
#5 Take Off The Top Grill
Fifth, use a screwdriver or drill to remove the screws on the top of your unit so that you can pull off the grill that is covering the fan portion of your condenser unit. Set aside the screws and the cover on a plastic tarp so that it doesn't get damaged or wet.
#6 Clean Fan Area
Once the grill is off, pull out any leaves that have gotten into the fan area. Use your shop vacuum with a soft bristle attachment to clean up any other remaining debris that got into the area where the fan is. Finally, take a damp cloth and gently wipe down each side of the blades of the fan. Use a hose to spray off the fins and get rid of any other dirt on the fins.
#7 Reattach The Top Grill
Take the top grill, and put it back in place. Reattach the screws and make sure that they are on tight. If any of the screws are rusted, replace them with new screws so that the rust doesn't spreads to the rest of the unit and the screws don't become compromised in the future.
Your condenser unit should now be clean and should operate more effectively. You should deeply clean your condenser unit at least once a year. For professional assistance with any of your air conditioning repair or maintenance needs, contact a company like A Bailey Plumbing.