It's inconvenient and frustrating when your AC won't keep you cool on a hot day. If you have a medical condition, a lack of air conditioning might even be dangerous to your health. So many things can cause an AC to malfunction that it's difficult to pinpoint the problem yourself.
You should always check that the filter isn't clogged, and if the filter isn't the problem, call an AC repair service for help. One problem that might develop is trouble with the condenser coils. Here's a look at how the repair tech might deal with this situation.
A Dirty Condenser Coil Can Be Cleaned
The condenser is outside, so the coil is subjected to dust floating through the air, flying grass clippings, or even bird droppings. The coils can become coated with dust, dirt, and other debris. Rain washes the coils occasionally and helps keep them clean, but it may also be necessary for the AC repair technician to clean the coils with chemicals that loosen the dirt so it can be rinsed away.
Once the coils are clean, they do a much better job at helping the refrigerant cool down so it's ready for another cycle through the unit to cool your house. If dirt is the only problem with the coils, then the repairs are fairly easy and less expensive than if parts have to be replaced.
A Small Hole Can Often Be Repaired
The condenser coils hold refrigerant, so if they develop a hole, the refrigerant leaks out and the pressure drops in the system. A tiny hole only allows a small amount of refrigerant to leak, so the problem might go on for a long time until the refrigerant leaks out. During this time, the pressure in the system slowly drops and the unit becomes less efficient and has a harder time keeping you cool.
The repair technician will repair a refrigerant leak if possible whether the leak is tiny or more serious. Repairing entails using a sealant or patch to cover the hole. Condenser coils are usually made of copper, so patches can be soldered in place as long as the hole can be reached.
The Condenser Coils May Need To Be Replaced
If the condenser coils have a lot of damage, replacing them is probably the best option. These coils are often proprietary to ensure the right part is used for optimal operation of your AC. You probably won't find any bargains on parts, but replacing the coils costs less than replacing the condenser.
Coils can sometimes go bad when they develop widespread corrosion or if a vibration in the unit causes damage over time. Part of the process of replacing a condenser coil is draining the refrigerant so the part can be replaced and then putting in new refrigerant.
Once your AC has new condenser coils and the refrigerant is brought back to the proper operating pressure, your house should cool back down so you're comfortable again.