Heat Not Dissipating from the Condenser

Condenser May Be Dirty

If you live in an area with cottonwood trees or any airborne seeds from trees or plants it's very likely that your condenser fins and cabinet slots may be clogged up or dirty. Examine the outside unit to determine if this is the case. What you need to do here is to get a hose on the inside and push the debris back out the way it came in. This can be a little tricky but is something the average homeowner can likely tackle with little issue. I'll describe the typical scenario here but if your AC is setup differently remember the goal here is simply to push the debris back out from the opposite direction it entered. Do not simply spray the outside down with a hose because you'll likely just be making it worse.

  1. First off kill the power to the unit by flipping the breaker; some ACs have their own power disconnect box right near the unit.
  2. Next you'll need to remove the grill on top that covers the fan. This should be held in place with a few bolts or screws. Sometimes the fan itself is connected to the cover so be careful when removing it to ensure you've got enough slack in the wiring to set it aside without severing the wires.
  3. If you can get a hose in there and start spraying outward at this point, great! If not you'll need to remove the fan.
  4. Find the bolts that connect the fan to the frame or the top of the compressor and remove them. When setting the fan aside be sure you have enough slack in the wires to be able to do so without putting tension on the wires. The wires may be able to detach easily with a clip but some are hardwired and are not removable.
  5. Get the debris out of there with a hose forcing water from the inside of the unit out the slots on the outside. Try and be careful not to bend the fins on the radiator that surrounds the condenser, but if you do, don't worry... keep reading.

dirty air conditioner condenser

Radiator Fins May Be Bent

Depending on the grill covering on the top of the unit it's very possible that hail or other debris has caused damage to the radiator fins that surround the condenser. The fix here is simple. Remove the cover and get a radiator comb from your local auto parts store to comb through the fins and straighten them back out.

You may also want to inspect your inside ducting to see if it's too dirty or leaking air Next >>>