How to Cool Down Your AC

Fan blowing on dog

Hot enough for you? I don’t know about you, but I get tired of that question real fast in these summer months. You know who also gets tired of this? Your air conditioner. Okay, probably nobody really goes around talking to air conditioners, but if they did, your A/C unit may reply “It’s too hot!”

Why? It needs to be cleaned, that’s why!

This is a simple thing that you can do and it will save you money and keep your house more comfortable.

Your air conditioner has many components, but the largest, most visible one is its compressor / condenser that is the large cabinet with a big fan outside your home. Within this unit is where the hard work happens. The coolant is piped through the condenser and then through coolant tubes. Here’s where the air coming in from the outside needs to flow freely over the coolant tubes and fins to cool it down, then send it back in to your house icy cold so your hot household air can be blown across it, cooled, then sent to all your vents inside to provide you with that refreshing cool air.

The problem is that the cooling fins get clogged. Clogged with dirt, leaves and crud floating in the air. The large fan that blows up draws a huge amount of air through the cabinet of the compressor. This draws in crud that you do not want and it needs to be cleaned out to allow your A/C to work efficiently, or at all.

I have seen many of these get buried in “Cotton” from Cottonwood trees in our region. In a very short time this can literally clog you’re A/C and reduce it to a barely functioning unit. I am a bit embarrassed to admit that my own A/C unit was super clogged just the other day. I had a hedge that had grown up around it, blocking some air flow with branches and leaves. I cut the hedge way back and freed up a lot of air space around the unit. Then I took off the cover to look at the coils. OMG, they were clogged. Ugh! I can’t believe that I let them get this way. I got the hose, and sprayed them clean to where the metal fins can do their job with thermal transfer and keep our house cool.

The little fins that do the hard work of cooling are easily bent, so do be careful when cleaning. If you have many bent / squashed fins, you can get a fin comb at your local Ace Hardware store to help straighten these out so they’ll work efficiently. You’ll find fin combs right next to the Swede combs. Okay, bad pun, but seriously, the helpful folks can help you out with these.

Of course, don’t forget to replace the air filter in your furnace / air conditioner either. The easier it is to get more air flowing through your house, the cooler and more efficient your A/C will run. You’ll use less electricity and save money as well, especially on these really hot summer days. None of this is really difficult, nor expensive and you’ll be glad you did this.