2 Ways Broken Or Dirty Condenser Coils Can Interfere With Your AC's Efficiency

Central air conditioning systems depend on a variety of motorized parts, a chemical refrigerant, and a system of coils to produce the chilled air that keeps your home comfy in the sweltering summer months. The first set of coils the refrigerant reaches is the condenser coils in the condensing unit outside your home. These coils take the gas refrigerant from the compressor and change the gas into a liquid.

The proper and efficient operation of your air conditioning system relies on the condensing coils performing this phase change properly. If the coils become broken or dirty, the system can experience problems. Here are a few of the ways that broken or dirty condenser coils can interfere with your air conditioner's efficiency – and when you need to call in an air conditioning repair services company for help.

Overheating System Leads to Shut-Downs

The condenser coils become warm while the phase change happens inside the coils. A nearby blower fan is calibrated to cool off the surface of the coils enough that the system won't overheat but not so much as to interrupt the phase change. If the surface of the coils becomes dirty, the coils can become hotter than the fan can handle. This overheating will trigger the unit to shutdown as a safety protection.

Rapid cycling is a sign that you might have dirty coils. The problem refers to your air conditioner starting up and working fine but then shutting off unexpectedly for no clear reason – and well before your desired temperature was reached inside. If you are experiencing rapid cycling, you should call in a service tech to make sure the coils are the problem.

Inefficient Phase Change Provides Less Cooling

Dirty or bent coils can still provide the phase change and won't always overheat, so your system can seem to operate correctly, but you will slowly lose efficiency. That's because each time the refrigerant passes through the condensing coils, a bit more of the refrigerant gas is left behind each time. This leaves less refrigerant moving inside into the evaporator coils.

The evaporator coils are the opposing force of the condensing coils since the evaporator coils take in the liquid refrigerant and change it back into a gas. These coils become cold, which provides the cooling force for your circulating air. If the evaporator coils don't receive enough liquid refrigerant, the coils won't become as cold as necessary to adequately and thoroughly cool your air.

Call an HVAC service tech to check on the health of your coils and to add additional refrigerant, as needed. The addition of the controlled chemical refrigerant must be completed by a trained air conditioning services technician, such as those found at Universal Refrigeration.