As you prepare your home for warmer weather and upcoming summer sunshine, don’t forget about an air-conditioning tune-up. Spring is an ideal time for AC maintenance to get your system ready for the heat of the summer months.

Most condenser scrubbings are best left to the pros, as with any home maintenance. However, by carrying out these general cleaning and maintenance tips, you’ll save yourself any large repair bills in the future.

Leave the Coil Cleaning to the Pros

Before you head out to your condenser with a bucket and cloth, we have one top tip — leave the coil cleaning to the pros. The coil is one of the most important parts of your condenser.

The coil needs to be kept clean. If a condenser coil becomes dirty, it no longer rejects heat effectively, making it harder to maintain a comfortable temperature in your home. Energy costs go up, and it could potentially cause damage to other components of your HVAC system.

However, cleaning the coil requires knowledge and skill. Cleaning fluids need to be measured correctly — too acidic, and the solution will corrode the coil and could cause nasty skin irritation.
Wiping down the outside of your condenser is reasonably straightforward, but leave the coil cleaning to the pros.

Avoid the Hose When Cleaning Down the Condenser

While it’s tempting to give your condenser unit a good deep clean, you shouldn’t. Excessive water on the coils can result in damage to or failure of your air conditioning system.

You may think you’re getting rid of dust and debris, but you’re pushing them deeper into the condenser unit. In some cases, a buildup of this debris around a condenser coil could cause a malfunction or premature system failure, costing you money.

Pollen and dust will inevitably build up on the outside of your condenser. But stay clear of the hose and use a damp cloth instead. Wipe away the dust and debris by pushing it away from the condenser and onto the ground. Avoid the hose, and you’ll also avoid a bill for condenser repairs.

Landscape Around Your Condenser

Since it’s a vital part of your air conditioning system, you should never hide your condenser unit completely in bushes or other plants. However, you can landscape around a condenser unit so that it’s not an eyesore, while also keeping enough space around it to ensure proper airflow.

Start by trimming back any branches or overgrown plants that may be in the way. You should also keep the area around the unit clear of debris, like leaves and grass clippings, that can get caught in fan blades and affect your system’s performance.

A lattice fence or a trellis is ideal for hiding your condenser unit from view.

Choose the Right Plants for Around Your Condenser

Before you dash to grab your gardening gloves, you must choose the right plants to place around your condenser. If you select plants that quickly spread, you’ll have to cut them back to create the two-foot space your condenser requires.

Tall shrubs and plants work best. As they grow upwards, they’ll also create some shade. Try arborvitae–tolerant plants that require little pruning. Stay clear of fruit trees or pod-forming trees as the leaves and seeds dropping can clog up the condenser.

Roses pose a prickly problem for AC maintenance. Nobody wants to crawl through a spiky thorn bush to service your system!
Equally, it’s advisable to steer clear of flowering plants and shrubs that attract bees and wasps. Condenser units make ideal nesting places for these creatures, and you’ll end up with a bill to get rid of the nest before your next air-conditioning tune-up.

When summer temperatures rise in the largest city in California, you’ll want to have a reliable air conditioning system for your home, but don’t leave it to the last minute. Book your AC maintenance today by giving the professionals at JW Plumbing, Heating and Air a call.

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