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Should You Clean the Outside Portion of Your Central Air?

August 22, 2023

Should You Clean the Outside Portion of Your Central Air

Having central AC is a huge benefit for any homeowner, and almost an absolute necessity for Phoenix homeowners. August is one of the hottest months in the Phoenix area and being able to escape the heat with the cooling comfort of your home is a high priority. Proper AC maintenance can help you avoid unexpected breakdowns and paying close attention to certain components of your system is a must. You should regularly change your air filters, watch and listen for anything abnormal, and also not forget about the outside portion of your air conditioning unit. That brings us to the question, “Should you clean the outside portion of your central air unit”?

Let’s get a better understanding as to what the outside portion of your central air system is.

If you have central air conditioning and HVAC, odds are you can’t really miss the outside portion of your system and know it’s there. But what is it? What does it do? Why is it needed?

The outdoor unit consists of the compressor, refrigerant lines, condenser coils, and fan. The indoor unit's evaporator coil absorbs excess heat from the home's air. That heat is then transferred to the condenser coils, which release it outside. After the heat is released, the cooled refrigerant flows back to absorb more. This part of your HVAC system is key to your home’s comfort and your central air working as it should.

Should you clean the outside portion of your central air?

Regular cleaning of the outdoor AC unit is essential to prolong the air conditioner's life and to ensure your unit functions as it should. Keeping the outside of your AC unit clean is very important, because blockages and obstructions could restrict airflow, stopping your system from being able to work as it should. Not only that, good airflow can even help to reduce the amount you pay each month for air conditioning.

To many people, the outside portion of their AC is out of sight and out of mind; however, you should clean the outside portion of your central air system because it plays a vital role in cooling your home. Homeowners should ensure periodic cleaning of the outdoor unit and take precautions to keep the area around it free from any debris, overgrown greenery, nests, toys, or anything else that could stop the unit from functioning as it should.

A dirty condenser can cause your air conditioning to blow warm air and shorten the life of your AC unit. Airflow blockages to your condenser can damage portions of your HVAC system, including the condenser coil and AC compressor. As we said above, no one wants to be without AC in our Phoenix weather, so we have provided some tips for how you can protect the outside portion of your AC.

  • Keep Your Yard Clean and Manicured: As we mentioned above, keeping your yard and area around your unit clear of overgrown greenery and plants, fallen leaves, hoses, and other debris is essential to protecting your unit. Trim branches of trees, bushes, shrubs, and mow grass on a regular basis to prevent them from overtaking or dropping items in or on the condenser.
  • Check Your Unit: Items can easily find their way to your unit and may need cleaned off. It’s a good practice to check your outside unit weekly to ensure no nests have been built there or other obstructions may be blocking the airflow. Remind family members to keep the top of the unit clear of any items and to not use it as a storage table.
  • Schedule Regular AC Maintenance: This can help you avoid any unwanted or unexpected breakdowns due to blockages or other issues with any portion of your HVAC. It is always recommended to have a professional HVAC technician review and clean your unit to ensure it is done properly and no damage is caused to your HVAC system. 

To sum this up, the outside portion of your AC is key to your home maintaining the comfort levels you would like and you should clean the outside portion of your central air whenever it is needed. Keeping a regular eye on it can help you avoid costly repairs and unwanted breaks in comfort.

Arizona Comfort Specialists can help you ensure your Phoenix air conditioning works as it should. Our cooling experts undergo extensive training and are up-to-date with the latest service programs on several manufacturing systems. From new installs to repairs, we have you covered. Contact us today.

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