Updated August 2023

The outdoor compressor unit of your air conditioning system is exposed to the worst of the weather conditions. From nasty thunderstorms to frigid snow, it takes a beating. From time to time, it may need to be washed to remove stuck-on grime and other debris.

Using a Power Washer

It’s not a good idea to use a power or pressure washer on your AC compressor unit. While the exterior AC grille cover can likely handle the high pressure, the internal components can’t. Even though you may try to avoid them, you may accidentally come into contact with an internal component, such as one of the sensitive fins.

There are various components inside of your outdoor compressor unit, like fins, that are constructed of sensitive metal. Aluminum and copper are two of the most commonly used metals in air conditioner manufacturing and are highly susceptible to damage from high-pressure water. This water can bend, dent, and even create pinhole leaks in these metals.

Stick to Your Garden Hose

It’s best to switch out that power washer for a traditional garden hose. This will still provide you with a forceful stream of water but won’t pose any risk to the components of your outdoor compressor unit. When you go to clean the AC grille cover, you can use a combination of your garden hose and a mild cleansing agent.

Keeping the Surrounding Area Clear

As a homeowner, it’s your responsibility to do everything possible to ensure that your air conditioning system runs smoothly. One of the best things that you can do is to ensure that your outdoor compressor unit is surrounded by clear space. It needs up to three feet of space around the entire unit in order for it to function efficiently.

When refrigerant from inside brings the heat to your outdoor compressor unit, the fins are responsible for dispersing that heat to the outdoor air. When there are obstructions on or next to your compressor unit, they can greatly hinder its ability to release that heat. This results in an overworked air conditioning system that drives up your energy bills while your home doesn’t ever cool to a comfortable level.

You should be checking the space around your compressor unit at least once a month and after every major storm. Trim back any shrubs or tree branches that are too close to the unit. Make sure that any loose debris, like leaves, is picked up from the area so that it doesn’t get forced up against your AC compressor unit.

Professional AC Service

It’s highly advisable that you bring in a professional to service your air conditioning system every spring. Part of their plethora of service offerings is cleaning your outdoor compressor unit. They have special cleansing agents that work to penetrate even the hardest stuck-on debris on your condenser coils. More importantly, they know how to safely clean your unit to enhance its efficiency.

Why Invest in Professional Service?

It’s crucial to realize that professionals have the equipment and knowledge to properly service your compressor unit. While you may be thinking about trying to clean it yourself, that’s not highly recommended. In fact, most air conditioner manufacturers require that you have your air conditioning system serviced by a licensed professional once a year. If you lapse in annual service, they can void the warranty contract on your air conditioning system.

Apart from keeping your warranty coverage active, regular service also helps to ensure that your air conditioning system is working efficiently. The more efficiently your system works, the more comfortable it will be in your home, and the less money you’ll have to spend on your monthly energy bills.

Regular cleaning of your outdoor compressor unit helps to minimize any biological growth. If you let it go for too long, you’ll begin to notice that mold, mildew, and even fungus will start to grow on your compressor unit’s components. This is not only unappealing to look at, but these unwanted biological growths can also easily start to make their way to the nearby areas surrounding your unit, like rocks, soil, and bushes.

Expert AC Services

My Guy Heating and Air, LLC offers expert air conditioning services for the entire Mead, CO community. We can also assist with all of your heating, thermostat, air purification, and mini-split needs. That includes installation, repair, and maintenance. Call our office today to schedule an appointment.

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