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Problems Caused By A Dirty Condenser Coil

The condenser coil is one of the most important parts of your air conditioner. It’s job is to take the heat that has been extracted from your home’s air and move it outside. When dirt builds up on your coils, it can have a major effect on the performance of your air conditioning unit.

Today we’re going to tell you about the symptoms of dirty condenser coils and what you can do to keep them clean!

For more information on how an air conditioner works

Read Here

Air conditioning units include two coils…the evaporator coil or “indoor coil” and the condenser coil or “outdoor coil”.

We will be talking about:

  • What A Condenser Coil Is
  • Its Role In Cooling Your Home
  • Common Problems Caused By Dirty Condenser Coils
  • Recommended Cleaning Frequency
  • Airborne Debris in Colorado

What Is A Condenser Coil?

Air Conditioner Condenser Coil

A simple stylized diagram of the refrigeration cycle: 1) condensing coil, 2) expansion valve, 3) evaporator coil, 4) compressor

A condenser coil is one of the key parts responsible for the reliable, cost efficient, effective and long-term operation of your air conditioner. It is located outside your home in the condensing unit.
Your air conditioner works by a process of converting gas to liquid in a continuous process. With the use of a refrigerant material in the tubing, the hot air from inside your home travels outside to the condenser coils where the heat is released and removed. A huge amount of air transfer is demanded of your air conditioner unit, The cleaner the condenser coil , the better the fan can do its job and handle all that hot air.

The Condenser Coil Is A Vital Part Of Properly Cooling Your Home

Air moves across your “indoor coil unit” where heat is absorbed into the refrigerant in the coil and circulated, through tubing, to your “outside coil unit” aka “condenser coil”.

The fan in the condenser unit helps to disperse the hot air from your house to the outside air … blowing it across the condenser coil. As noted, the air conditioner actually “removes” heat, it does not “add” cool air.

Issues Caused By A Dirty Condenser Coil

A dirty condenser coil creates a number of troubling problems:

  • Your air conditioners energy efficiency drops dramatically
  • Your air conditioner is no longer able to cool your home effectively. Your energy consumption goes up significantly while your cooling efficiency and effectiveness drops like a stone.
  • The life of your air conditioner unit, a huge home investment, is reduced. Manufacturers assume you will properly maintain the unit when they project years of service.
  • Cooling efficiency can drop over 30%. At that point, your system is cooling at only 60 or 70% effectiveness. (Note: as little as 0.042 inch or 1/23 of an inch of dirt can reduce cooling efficiency up to 21%)

As you can see, the investment you make to maintain your air conditioner system, such as having your condenser coil cleaned, is well worth the peace of mind it provides you.

Repairs, by their nature, are often unexpected and at the worst possible time.  Before the hot summer months, it is recommended to have a professional, NATE Certified HVAC Technician clean the coils. This strategy will not only head off a potential problem, it will also afford you a timely appointment during a lower demand time.

An annual cleaning is the minimal recommended cleaning frequency.

If you live in an area with a particularly high amount of airborne debris and/or your air conditioner is demanded to run for long hours, a more frequent cleaning schedule would be suggested.  Remember…your condenser coil is very delicate, an AC professional, such as a NATE certified  “All Weather” technician is recommended.

Air Quality in Colorado?

Air quality needs to be considered as a significant contributing factor in necessitating regular cleaning of your condenser coil:

The oil and gas industry in Colorado results in the state’s largest source of airborne volatile organic compounds and the third largest source of nitrogen oxides (report in the Denver Post – July 9, 2013, Rocky Mountain West Environment News).

Dust, dirt and debris outside your home creates the “perfect storm” toward clogging and compromising your condenser coil system.

Burning of fossil fuels for power and vehicles is another important airborne factor.

Burning of fossil fuels for power and vehicles is another important airborne factor.

Sand and dust from paved and unpaved roads is always present but worse in some areas.

NASA has announced major airborne pollutants have been observed, including over Colorado, per Jim Scott/Science Editor, University of Colorado.


We hope this piece has been helpful.  All Weather Heating and Cooling, LLC is a family owned and operated Denver, CO HVAC company.  We are part of your community and proud to be your neighbors.  Our service is individualized and client specific.  Quality service and attention to detail are an important part of our core company philosophy.  We believe utilizing local businesses strengthens our community.  We understand local conditions affecting your air conditioning system.  We are here to help!

Call All Weather Heating and Cooling for all your HVAC needs! 303-353-8496


Call Us (303)353–8496
2323 South Troy St., Suite 5-135 Aurora, CO 80014