Airflow at the Outdoor Unit

Airflow at the Outdoor Unit

Last week I spoke briefly about the problems associated with obstructed/dirty air filters. One point I’d like to reiterate is that filters are only there to protect your indoor coil from becoming plugged with debris. Obviously, airflow across the indoor coil will be obstructed if this occurs. To avoid restricted airflow the best thing to do is replace the filters regularly. I highly recommend replacing them monthly with a pleated filter. If you have trouble remembering, simply set a recurring reminder on your phone’s calendar. That’s what I do at my house. Now, on to the outdoor unit.

The outdoor unit also needs airflow, but what does the airflow do? As with the indoor coil, the outdoor coil is there to transfer heat. While the indoor coil picks up the heat from inside, the coil on the outside rejects this heat. If either coil is obstructed, heat transfer cannot take place. If the coil on the outside becomes obstructed, the heat that is picked up in the indoor coil cannot be efficiently removed. When this happens, the pressure and temperature dramatically increases and can cause the many of the same problems described in last week’s article. So, what do you do?

I highly recommend having your system serviced at least once per year so the coil can be professionally cleaned. I would not recommend doing this yourself, because it is likely that you can damage the coil. If you decide to do so, proceed with caution and make sure the system is off and not calling for cooling. Once you have determined the system is off, you can run a light water from a hose over it, but do not use a spray nozzle. I repeat, do not use a spray nozzle. Furthermore, you want to run water from the inside out because you do not want to push debris through the coil fins from the outside. This can be challenging because the fan motor will spin so it is very difficult to effectively clean. This is one of the main reasons it is not recommended to clean yourself. Instead, please call AirCo and schedule a precision tune-up and we will take care of this for you as well as make sure your system is ready for Mississippi’s summer heat!

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