Monsoon Season Is Over: Check Your A/C For These 3 Energy-Hogging Issues

2017 Sep 27
Posted in: Air Conditioning

Arizona monsoons bring much needed moisture to our desert, but they also bring a lot of dirt and debris with them, which means trouble for your A/C.

After the monsoon season ends, we often see these 3 energy-hogging issues with Arizona air conditioners:

  1. Dirty condenser coils
  2. Clogged air filters
  3. Blocked condensate drain

We’ll go into more detail about each of these problems and how to fix them.

Problem #1: Dirty condenser coils

dirty condenser coils vs. clean condenser coils
Dirty condenser coil on the left vs. clean condenser coil\ on the right

Monsoons spread dust like crazy, which means your outdoor condenser unit may be covered in a thick layer of dust (see image above).

So, why is this an energy waster?

In short, it makes your system work twice as hard to do its job. The purpose of the outdoor unit is to release the heat that your system’s refrigerant has absorbed from your home’s air.

But, if your condenser coil (the component responsible for releasing that heat) is covered by a thick layer of dirt, the heat can’t escape very well. Think of it like wearing a thick coat on a hot summer day—the heat stays inside the coat and can’t escape.

Bottom line: A dirty condenser coil forces your system to run longer than it should, meaning higher energy bills. But it also decreases your comfort because the extra heat your condenser can’t dump outside will head straight back into your home. 

Solution

  • Try this DIY cleaning method to clean your dirty condenser coils:
    1. Remove large debris like leaves and sticks from the condenser unit
    2. Turn off your outdoor unit at the power switch. Then, use a hose on a gentle setting to clear off dirt/debris (you can also use a condenser coil cleaner to clean off most debris)
  • Don’t have time to clean your coil? Or do you have a super thick layer of dust? Call a professional to clean your condenser unit for you.

Problem #2: Clogged air filters

dirty air conditioner filter vs. clean air conditioner filter
Since there’s more dust in the air during monsoon season, your air filter can easily get clogged.

When your air filter becomes too clogged with dust and debris, air can’t pass through it, which makes your system work harder and longer to cool your home. Think of it like trying to breathe with a thick blanket over your mouth (you wouldn’t breathe in much air).

Solution:

Change your air filter if it’s dirty. And remember this tip for next year: during monsoon season we recommend changing your air filter every 2 weeks. 

Problem #3: Blocked condensate drain

clogged condensate drain line
A clogged condensate line

Your A/C system not only cools your home, it also removes moisture from your home’s air.

The moisture trapped by your A/C system drains out of your home through a condensate line (pictured above).

But often, monsoons kick up dirt/debris that can get into your condensate drain line and create an algae clog. This blockage causes moisture to back up into your home which can shut down your system, or even worse, create severe water damage to your home.

To know if you have a blocked condensate drain, go to your air handler (the indoor part of your A/C system, usually found in an attic or closet). Look around the unit. Do you notice a pool of water? If so, your condensate line is clogged and should be cleared ASAP.

Solution

Need help getting your A/C back in good shape?

Contact George Brazil HVAC to schedule A/C maintenance. We’ll send one of our trusted technicians to get your A/C running back in tip-top shape.

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