I'll admit it. It's not very effective to clean a condenser when it's
already cooling very well.
I checked to see how the youtube guys did it. The first was Scott
Harrell from Air Tite CLT. They specialize in HVAC design and
maintenance for industry, data centers, and other critical applications.
He did it from the outside. First he wet everything from the outside.
Then he applied the foam to one section at a time so he could rinse each
section before the foam damaged the aluminum.
The second was a representative of mainsupplies.com, an HVAC supply
house. He did a home unit the same way Harrell did the industrial unit.
The third was a homeowner. His unit seemed to be plastered with dead
seaweed. He took the fan off and hosed it from the inside. I would
have done the same. After he put the fan back on, he said he would let
everything dry several hours before running the AC. Hmmm....
The next guy had three units on a concrete slab. He spent a lot of time
taking the fan off so he could remove the louvers. With them out of the
way, a lot of fiber was visible on the condenser. He pulled some off
with his fingers, then hosed it from the inside. Strangely, he said he
was hosing it from the outside. I would have hosed that one from the
inside, too. First, I would vacuumed the outside with a dusting brush.
The fifth guy had two units side by side. One looked clean, with
anodized fins. The other condenser appeared to be covered with hardened
pancake mix. He surprised me by hosing it from the outside, and it
worked. I saw clean black fins. He got down and looked through to see
that they were all clear.
I would have started by vacuuming mine, but there was nothing visible on
the outside. I looked through the condenser, and all the holes looked
clear. Clogging wasn't an issue, but I imagined a thin layer of dirt
could slow the air a little or interfere with heat transfer. So I
applied the foam from the outside, like the pros.
After rinsing, I turned on the AC and went over the condenser with a
fine spray. I was using the rushing air to help the water rinse away any
remaining cleaner or dirt.
I guess if the condenser fins don't get smaller from 'outside to
inside', the only reason it may matter which side you apply the foam
cleaner, is which side looks the most dirty. And then, I'd rinse from
the same side I applied the foam.
When I get up there tomorrow, I'll have to make that judgement call. In
the end, if I can see light through the fins when done, I've done a good
I'll first hand pick and vacuum off the larger stuff.
Looking through records years ago, I saw that my unit had been
professionally repaired only once. It was about 8 years old. It needed
a drier and refrigerant.
I don't know how a technician diagnoses a restriction in a drier. I
imagine he would feel a temperature difference between the inlet and the
Mine is inside the access panel on the outdoor unit. Darn, next time I
ran it, I wanted to see if I felt a temperature difference, but the fan
won't pull much air through the condenser with the panel open.
If you're lucky, yours will be more accessible.
This link says that when ice forms in a thermostatic expansion valve,
the system will quit cooling. The ice will melt and it will resume
cooling as the ice slowly accumulates again.
On Friday, June 5, 2015 at 2:18:27 PM UTC-4, Boris wrote:
You have *two* lines running there. The small one is the pressure
side, the large one the suction side. Also called high pressure
and low pressure. The drier is in the pressure side, typically
right outside the compressor unit.
When my Mom would tell me that she wanted me to do some
thing, she would add "and that is a priority!" I'd alays
ask if that is high or low.
Anyhow, as to the pressue tubing, you do realize there
is high and low pressure tubing?
Christopher A. Young
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