Last weekend, I made one of the greatest mistakes I’ve ever made as a homeowner – I tried to clean our outdoor air conditioning system equipment, and I know I may have caused some significant damage to the machine! I was told by our friend that cleaning the outdoor evaporator/condenser device is simple, as long as you remember to power down the equipment and “use your head”… I wasn’t sure what he meant by saying that, but I had a feeling I was going to find out. I took the side panel off our outdoor evaporator device for the air conditioner in our house, and prepared our garden hose with an attachment made to supply high-pressure flow for cleaning the coils… Well, coils and fins can bend and break pretty easily, mostly because they’re thin metal that’s bent out of place! When I began spraying the coils down with the hose, I noticed that a lot of yard debris was coming off the fins and coils. It seemed like there were pieces of trash stuck to the coils themselves. I kept leaning closer and closer with the hose, until I was spraying point-blank at the coils and fins with our hose with high-velocity pressure! What a foolish mistake. When I was done, I realized that several of the fins were now bent, and some were completely broken! I knew this was trouble, because the fins help facilitate the process of heat leaving the system and evaporating out into the atmosphere. With the fins being this damaged, the system was going to have a harder time dispersing heat, which meant it was more likely to suffer a breakdown! What a poor decision that was. I’m going to have our personal HVAC professional come by next week to make the necessary adjustments and repairs. I know he’s going to give me a stern talking-to about this fin debacle!
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