How to Clean and Straighten AC Condenser Coils

The condenser coils are a vital part of your air conditioner unit. Without it, your aeration and cooling system won’t work appropriately. It is therefore vital to keep it in working condition.


The AC condenser coils need regular maintenance and cleaning along with the indoor AC evaporator coils because the condenser unit is other half a split central air conditioner system. The purpose of the condenser coil is to release the heat absorbed by the refrigerant at the evaporator coils inside the home so it’s ready for the next cooling cycle. If the condenser coils are clogged with dirt or the fins are bent it will block air flow through the coils and interfere with the heat exchange. This causes the system to work harder and drives up your electric bill.


Bent AC Condenser Coil Fins

The air conditioner system was installed by the home builder and are now about 12 years old. The Heil “entry model” or economy condenser units have coils that are protected by a wire grille which in reality isn’t much protection. I noticed the condenser coil fins had become bent and damaged sometime in the past 2 years. Were the fins bent by the hail storm or more likely by the pressure washer guy?

The bent condenser coil fins are very noticeable in the 2012 photo. The damaged fins are straightened by fin combing in the 2014 image:

Outdoor AC Condenser Units Before and After Fin Straightening

How to Clean and Straighten AC Condenser Coils

I called my HVAC service company for the twice a year seasonal maintenance and asked for condenser coil cleaning and fin combing to straighten the bent fins which cost an extra $125 per unit.

These are 3 ton (or 36,000 BTU/hr) condenser units. The coils are painted black by the factory which has mostly worn off. The coils show numerous silver looking areas with bent fins or impact damage. The individual strikes could be something thrown by the lawn mower or a hail strike. That bent fins near ground level are probably from careless use of the weedeater. I believe the pressure washer guy caused the large area of bent fins at the left corner when he cleaned the house (BTW – never pressure wash AC coils!):

Outdoor AC Condenser Bent Fins

The condenser unit wire grille must be removed to comb and straighten the fins. The AC service tech shutoff the electricity at the outdoor service disconnect before starting work, then removed …


Read more: https://www.handymanhowto.com/clean-straighten-ac-condenser-coils/

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