Your AC Is Wasting $$$ Because of This Hard-to-Spot Issue
The next time you’re tending to your backyard lawn, take a close look at your AC condenser (the outside unit).
Check out the tiny aluminum “fins” that cover the outside of your outdoor unit. Are most of those fins heavily bent or damaged?
If so, your AC’s efficiency may be taking a hit, which means: Higher energy bills and less comfort. To be fair, a few bent fins here and there is completely fine and they won’t impact your AC’s performance. We usually don’t see problems unless roughly 30% to 50% of the fins are bent or/damaged.
Do you think you have too many bent fins? We’ll gladly show you how you can straighten those bent fins. First, let’s take a quick look at why bent fins are so costly in the first place.
Why bent condenser fins = wasted money
Your AC condenser fins’ job is to help release heat that your AC worked hard to absorb from inside your home.
Your air conditioner doesn’t actually “create” cool air. Instead, it works like a sponge— it uses a special substance called refrigerant to absorb heat from inside your home and dump that heat outside.
Your condenser fins are there to speed up that “heat dumping” process. The fins soak up all of the heat that was collected from your home. Then, a large fan blows cool air over the hot fins to push the heat into the outdoor air.
However, if a bunch of those fins are bent, they will prevent heat from being pushed out of the condenser. This makes your AC work harder and longer to cool off your home..
Translation? A LOT of bent condenser fins mean you spend more money and get less comfort.
How do you fix bent condenser fins?
Unfortunately, condenser fins are very delicate. In other words, a lot of things can bend and harm condenser fins, including:
- Weed whacking
- Pressure washing
- Surrounding foliage
- Twigs, hail, dirt, etc. picked up during summer storms
- Dog urine
Fortunately, bent fins are relatively easy (and cheap) to fix—just buy a condenser fin “comb” or, you can ask your AC technician to comb them out for you.
You must remember this: a fin comb can fix bent fins but not damaged fins. If your fins are badly damaged, then you will want to ask a professional for a more suitable solution.
To prevent damaging your condenser fins, consider:
1. Building a protective gate/fence around the outdoor unit.
This prevents pets, debris, and gardening activities from damaging the fins. Though remember, the main job of your outside unit is to dump heat outside. With that being said, make sure the fence is 3–5 feet from the outside unit to give it proper “breathing room” to disperse heat.
2. Getting your AC maintained…every year!
During one of Bold City Heating and Air’s maintenance visits, our techs will inspect your condenser fins for any problems.
When inspecting the outdoor unit, if our techs see bent fins, they straighten them out right then and there.
If they notice the potential for future damage (i.e. surrounding foliage that’s growing too close to the unit), they’ll bring the issue up and advise you on how to prevent fin damage.
To prevent dirt build-up on the fins, our techs clean the outside unit to increase the AC’s efficiency
An AC maintenance visit doesn’t just prevent/fix bent fins, either. Our techs follow a thorough maintenance checklist to keep your AC efficient, your energy bills low, and your AC warranty valid.