My house is about 3 yrs old. The AC is working fine. I heard that to
keep it running great one might need to spray it with water every so
often? Is that right? Wouldn't water cause problems though? Thanks.
I assume you mean the outside unit.
It is outside so it knows what water (rain) is and assuming you don't
use too much pressure, water will not harm it. Water can remove dust etc
from the coils and may improve efficiency. Just don't over do it,
especially with too much pressure. This is definitely not a job for a power
washer. Of course you could just let the rain take care of it.
I assume you mean the outside compressor. What is recommended
occasionaly is to srpay the coil with water to flush out any dust and
debris, But you must spray from the inside out, not spray on the
outside. The reason is because the fan sucks air in to pass over the
coil to cool the refrigerant. So over time dust and dirt can clog the
fins of the coil. If you spray from the outside, you are actually
pushing the dust and dirt further in.
Use a gentle spray so you don't damage the fins. Also in answer to
your question, water will not harm the unit since it is designed to be
outside anyway, but it does not hurt to cover the compressor or
electrical wires with a plastic bag of some sort. Of course make sure
the electric is turned off when you do this.
Spraying often with hard well water could result in a mineral buildup on
the coils and fins - reducing efficiency.
Avoid using hard water, use condensate from dehumidifier, or if
possible, catch clean soft rainwater down spout and use it in a hand
Always cut all the power sources to the unit including the control
voltage when spraying with a mild coil cleaner.
Never use dish detergents as some have an oil type base which will leave
an insulating film on the condenser fins.
If there are cottonwood trees near the unit you may need to have a
competent AC Tech service your unit on a regular basis.
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