Condenser coils need a lot of maintenance because they are located outside your home. Thus, if you are looking for ways to improve the function of your air conditioning system, you should start with inspecting and troubleshooting your condenser unit. Little changes can go a long way toward saving you money on your cooling costs. You do not need to be a certified HVAC technician to drastically improve the function of your coils.
Shade Your Coils
One element that can reduce the efficiency of condenser coils is sunlight. As the sun beats down on the metal components of your coils, they will heat up, and the hotter it gets, the harder it is for them to cool the coolant moving through them. In fact, the condenser fan must first cool the coils so that they can then cool the refrigerant moving through them. Planting a tall, fast-growing tree several feet back from your coils can provide shade and boost their function. Just make sure you don't plant a cottonwood or any other trees that release a lot of pollen or debris that could clog your coils.
All kinds of yard debris, dust, and debris can build up on the fins that make of your condenser coils. Because coils depend on airflow to cool the refrigerant moving through them, you need to inspect your coils and clean them with a stiff-bristle brush anytime you notice at they have started to get clogged. If you have stuck-on grime that is resistant to your brushing, use a commercially available coil cleaner to break down the grime then scrub you coils again.
If you have grass, flowers, or bushes growing right up next to your coils, they can interfere with airflow. Periodically, cut back plants so that no part of the plant gets any closer than two feet away from your coils. If you don't want to repeatedly cut back plants, lay down some weed mat and cover it with bark or gravel to keep weeds at bay.
A proactive homeowner should always be able to keep cooling costs low and reduce strain on equipment, which will save money on repair costs. After all, most homeowners are not prepared to replace a blown capacitor, but scrubbing coils clean does not require specialized training. Regular inspections followed by repairs as needed should be enough to keep your AC running efficiently for years to come.