There are many possible fail points in a central AC system. The condenser unit on the outside of your home is probably one of the most vulnerable components. Since it is outside, exposed to the elements, certain parts can get dirty. The coil fins that are on the outer walls of the unit are the most vulnerable. However, they are also the easiest fix because they are easy to get to. You don't need to be an HVAC pro to straighten you condenser coil fins. This article explains the importance of coil fins and how to straighten them.
What are the Coil Fins
The coil fins are an essential element in the condenser unit. An AC condenser is responsible for transferring heat out of the house and away from the fan. So, if the condenser is not properly working, your home will not be as easy to cool down. Basically, your system will require more energy and money to run. This will also put more stress on your unit, reducing its lifespan. So, it is vital that you ensure that your coils are working.
The coil fins are made out of aluminum. These are the large sheets of aluminum that you can see through the protective cage. The individual fins are very thin and can get bent quite easily. They can even get bent if you just push on them too hard. So, over the years, your unit is bound to get bumped, so bent fins are normal. Straightening bent coils as soon as you notice them is important if you want to keep your unit running well.
How to Fix the Fins
If large sections of your coils are bent, you should invest in a fin comb. This is a simple, cheap tool that makes it easy to straighten out multiple rows of fins at once. However, if you only have a few bent fins here and there, you can try fixing them with a flathead screwdriver. The goal is to bend them back to their original position, restoring an even space between each row. This only becomes difficult when there is dirt and debris clogged between the fins, which is a common problem, especially when the area around your condenser is topsoil or dirt. To fix this problem you can just spray down the coils with a hose. Water won't harm the fins, unless you spry with too much power and actually bend them.
This is a simple project that could hugely improve the efficiency of your condenser unit.