The condenser coil is inside the part of your air conditioner that sits outdoors. Refrigerant flows through the coil after it has picked up heat from your house. The refrigerant loses heat while it's in the condenser coil and then flows back into your house to start the cycle over. If something interferes with this process, the refrigerant won't get as cold as it's supposed to, and your house may not be able to cool down. Here are three problems in the condenser that can affect how well the coil cools down the refrigerant.
Fins That Get Clogged or Bent
The back of the condenser coil is covered in thin metal strips called fins. The fins are on the outside of the condenser unit. They're vulnerable to damage and clogging. For instance, if the condenser is positioned near a dryer vent, lint might blow against the AC and block the fins. Grass clippings can also blow up against the fins, and if the fins are hit with a lawnmower, bumped by a playful dog, or handled aggressively, the fins can bend and block airflow. When airflow is restricted, the condenser coil can't do a good job of cooling the refrigerant. You can probably clean the fins and even straighten them yourself, but if not, call an AC repair company for help because you don't want to run your air conditioner when the fins are blocking airflow or it could overheat.
The Condenser Fan or Fan Motor is Bad
The condenser has a big fan in it that you can see when you look in the top of the air conditioner. The purpose of the fan is to blow air across the condenser coils. This helps keep the condenser from overheating, and it also helps the coils efficiently cool the refrigerant. If the fan stops working, the problem could be with the fan or the motor. An AC repair technician can take the fan and motor out to see what's wrong. They can also check the wiring, motor, and capacitor to pinpoint the part that's causing the malfunction. If the fan is bad, the blades can be replaced, but they might only need to be repositioned. The wiring, capacitor, and fan motor can all be replaced by the repair technician if necessary.
The Coil Develops a Leak
A leaky coil can be a more serious problem because holes are often difficult to find. When refrigerant leaks out, the AC can't cool off your house, and the problem will get worse over time. The repair technician has tools and methods for locating a leak in a copper coil.
Sometimes, it's as easy as just looking for bubbles or tracking down a hissing noise. Other times, a technician has to check all the fittings and search along the entire coil to find the leak. The leak is repaired if possible, but if the coil is in bad shape, it might need to be replaced, which is more complicated. You can also click here to investigate more options.