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Are You Cleaning Your Commercial HVAC Condenser Units?

Are You Cleaning Your Commercial HVAC Condenser Units?

Condenser Coil - Dirty - CMI MechanicalWhen we ask our customers if they are cleaning their commercial HVAC condenser units, most of them don’t even know what a commercial condenser unit is. And we understand why. HVAC is our passion, but we know that not every facility manager has the same depth and breadth of HVAC knowledge that we do.

As a commercial HVAC company, it’s our responsibility to educate customers on important areas of maintenance they might be skipping out on. That’s why we’ve chosen to discuss a valuable yet often overlooked component of a commercial HVAC system in today’s blog – the condenser unit.

A typical air conditioner system has two different units, one located inside and one located outdoors. The outdoor unit is known as the condenser unit, and it houses condenser coils that are responsible for removing heat from the refrigerant that cools the air.

Condenser Coils - CMI MechanicalBecause the condenser unit is located outdoors, it is often gathers dust, dirt, and debris over the course of the year. While a dusty air conditioner unit might not seem like a big deal, dirty air condenser coils can cause a number of different issues for a company’s air conditioner system.

When HVAC condenser coils are covered in dirt, they can’t work effectively. They require more energy to do the same job they were doing before, putting stress on the overall HVAC system. Over time, dirty condenser coils can cause malfunctions, lead to breakdowns, or even lower the lifespan of the commercial HVAC condenser unit itself. 

In addition, dirty condenser coils aren’t able to transfer heat from the refrigerant as easily, making it harder for the air conditioner to cool the air inside a commercial facility. A dirty commercial HVAC condenser unit can be a much bigger issue for facility managers than it appears to be.

Luckily, cleaning a condenser unit is a simple process. Most air conditioner tune-ups include cleaning the condenser unit as part of the service, but it can also be performed by a maintenance crew with relative ease (after reading the unit’s instruction manual for more details, of course).

Cleaning a commercial HVAC condenser unit begins with powering down the unit and removing the coil guards. From there, the fan can be cleaned and the unit can be sprayed with a hose from the inside out. Once all of the dirt and debris is gone, the unattached parts can be reconnected. After a short period to let the unit air dry, it will be ready for use once again.

It’s easy to forget about the condenser unit of an HVAC system. It’s out of sight, and that puts it out of mind for many facility managers. But the commercial HVAC condenser unit is not something that should be ignored.

Preventative Maintenance by CMI MechanicalScheduling or performing a yearly cleanup on the condenser HVAC unit is an easy way to avoid breakdowns and keep the air conditioner system running smoothly all summer long. Whether performed by a commercial HVAC technician or a dedicated maintenance crew, cleaning the outdoor condenser unit is an essential part of keeping an HVAC system happy.

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The experiences I have had with the CMI team out of Denver has been nothing but positive.  If conversations for HVAC or national Boiler services were to open up, I will most definitely reach out to you.

Maile Keliikuli

Facilities Manager, REI Co-Op