The condenser unit is a vital part of your AC system. It’s a large piece of equipment that sits outside, where it releases hot air that’s been absorbed from your home. Within the condenser are components that compress the refrigerant and handle condensation and evaporation. It also contains condenser coils, a fan, and an expansion valve. When there’s a problem with the condenser unit, your HVAC system cannot function properly.
Here are the top warning signs your AC condenser unit may need to be replaced:
A Lack of Cooling
If you turn on the AC and the air isn’t cooling enough, or the system is blowing hot air instead, the problem may be with the condenser coils. The system will still run if the coils are dirty or blocked. But your AC will struggle to cool the air. Call a trained professional to determine if the issue is due to a dirty coil, a blockage, or low refrigerant levels. If the coil is damaged, the entire condenser must be replaced. There’s no way to repair sealed components.
Airflow Is Limited
Reduced airflow is often a subtle issue. But if it’s ignored, the entire system can shut down. Low airflow can point to a problem with the compressor, as it may be unable to generate as much air. A trained professional knows how to check for common causes and has the tools to diagnose and repair an underlying issue. Or, they can look for duct clogs and other potential causes. Replacing the condenser unit may be the most cost-effective option if the condenser unit is older.
Your HVAC System Is Less Efficient
A damaged condenser can reduce the efficiency of your AC system. It may still be able to provide the same cooling, but the unit will work harder and use more energy. If your energy bill keeps rising, have a technician check your HVAC system’s condenser and other parts. An underlying issue can cause more damage if not fixed. The condenser may have also reached the limit of its useful life.
The Condenser Is Leaking
There aren’t many ways to repair a condenser leak. It can be hard to spot a leak in the unit; whether water or refrigerant is leaking, it can quickly do a lot of damage. A coolant leak can lower refrigerant levels to the point the unit burns out. It’s often hidden deep in a coil with many bends and folds. Call a technician if you notice subtle signs of a leak or any change in AC performance before the unit is damaged beyond repair.
The Condenser Unit Has Been Overtaken by Vegetation
The unit is usually placed on the ground outside your home. We recommend having at least two feet of clearance on all sides, but dirt, debris, branches, grass, brush, and trees can encroach on the unit. Overgrowth can reduce efficiency and stop the system from working. Remove vegetation that grows near the unit. But if it’s severely overgrown and entrained in the unit, it may be too late to fix the problem.
Can an AC Condenser Be Repaired?
An AC condenser can run for many years without any problems. Run time can affect longevity, and that is dependent on your climate. In Maine, an AC unit may be needed for just two months out of the year; in South Florida, it may be required for 10 months. But no matter where you live, be on the lookout for issues and call for help when they arise. A dirty condenser can be cleaned, while a bad condenser relay switch, run capacitor, or motor can often be repaired or replaced without requiring a whole new condenser unit.
Contact Sky Heating & Air Conditioning
Air conditioning systems have many moving parts. When something is wrong, it’s often hard to pinpoint the source of the issue. Our licensed technicians are trained and equipped to diagnose and repair your AC quickly. We can determine if the condenser unit can be repaired or must be replaced. Our team is available 24 hours a day in the Portland area.