4 Frequently Asked Questions About Air Conditioning Condensers

Typical air conditioning systems use heat transfer to cool interior spaces. It takes heat from the air in your space and brings it to the outdoor unit, called the condenser. The condenser dissipates heat and sends freshly cooled refrigerant back inside, allowing the cycle to continue.

But how exactly does an AC condenser perform these functions, and what should you do if your condenser starts to fail?

We’ve explored the different types of air conditioners before and gave you some tips on how to diagnose a faulty AC condenser. Now, we’ll help you better understand your air conditioning system by answering some frequently asked questions and examining the vital role the condenser plays in your air conditioning system. Read on to learn more.


How do AC capacitors work?

Air conditioners use a refrigerant (R-410 in newer models), a special compound capable of rapidly changing form between gas and liquid (a process also known as “phase inversion”) without large temperature fluctuations.

The cooling process begins when the internal unit of a split system AC (called the evaporator) draws in warm interior air and blows it over the cold low pressure evaporator coil. This causes the refrigerant inside them to absorb heat and turn into a gaseous state. The compressor then pressurizes this gas, which generates additional heat and pushes it out to the outdoor (condenser) unit.

The condenser is a set of coils located inside the outdoor unit of the air conditioner. A powerful fan blows over the coils as the heated gaseous refrigerant passes through them. This causes the heat to dissipate and convert the refrigerant back into liquid form. At this point, liquid refrigerant is sent back to the internal unit to restart the process.

What do condenser fins do?

There are two types of AC fins: condenser fins and evaporator fins. The condenser fins are located on the outside of the condenser, similar to a grille, with metal fins lined up next to it. They help dissipate heat by allowing the air blown by the fan to flow smoothly through and out of the condenser.

In contrast, the evaporator fins are located inside the split system air conditioner. Like the condenser fins, they help direct the air blown by the fan, but they go inward rather than outward. They allow air to pass more easily through the evaporator coil, which transfers indoor heat to the refrigerant inside, which then transfers the gaseous refrigerant outside to the condenser.

Can you repair the condenser fins?

Bad weather, debris buildup, pressure washing, careless weeding procedures, tampering, and other unfortunate events can all cause the fins on your air conditioner’s condenser to bend. If the damage is severe enough, bent condenser fins can block airflow and force your air conditioner to work harder to dissipate heat.

If the bend is not too large, you can use a special fin comb to straighten the fins. Featuring interchangeable heads, the tool is designed to work with different-sized fins and can also be used to clean hard-to-reach dirt.

Remember, straightening a bent condenser fin is a slow process that requires great attention to detail. If you are not sure, you can leave this task to a professional.

Can you repair an AC capacitor yourself?

An air conditioner’s condenser is a complex piece of equipment with many moving parts, all of which must be set up and serviced properly to ensure proper operation. Improper installation and repair can easily lead to component failure, operational inefficiencies, and loss of warranty coverage.

What’s more, air conditioners contain refrigerant chemicals that can be harmful to humans, animals, and the planet. Mistakes can easily lead to the release of these harmful chemicals into your home and surroundings.

The above briefly describes several common air conditioner AC condenser problems. If you have any questions or want to buy air conditioners and air conditioner accessories, please contact us.

ComforPlanet is a professional custom air conditioners and accessories manufacturer. We are committed to the business philosophy of “customer first, people-oriented, leading quality, leading technology, and continuous profit growth” to create a trustworthy brand image and a respected public image.

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