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Thread: Air Conditioner Maintenance

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    2,303

    Air Conditioner Maintenance

    We are in a cottonwood storm, it's been going on for 2 weeks. Had my wife vacuum the fuzz off the condenser fins. She enjoys tasks like that.

    A couple years ago I raised it onto a pad of brick pavers, no compacted anything under it, just replaced the original plastic pad and went a few inches wider and 2" higher. Didn't need to disconnect the wiring or freon lines, plenty of flex available.

    It's in a flower bed and we keep plants clear of it and keep mulch around it. That keeps the dirt out.

  2. #2
    Once the Cottonwood storm finished, I suggest getting some coil cleaner and clean the coils. Lots of You Tubes showing how to do this

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Lafayette, IN
    Posts
    4,465
    At work, I have two 170-ton chillers to maintain. They chill a propylene glycol solution that runs through them at about 500 gal/min. That solution is pumped about 600’ under the street to my building (an historic courthouse) for HVAC purposes. This time of year, I rinse the coils (10 coils roughly 3’x6’x2” in each unit) off once a week, and some of the coils are so thick with cottonwood seed that I can peel off a sheet of compacted cottonwood seed like carpet.

    It may seem like a boring task (takes about an hour per chiller), but I see it as a chance to get outside and get some fresh air and Vitamin D, so it’s not too bad. I have to do it sometime today.
    Jason

    "Don't get stuck on stupid." --Lt. Gen. Russel Honore


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Millstone, NJ
    Posts
    711
    Quote Originally Posted by Jason Roehl View Post
    At work, I have two 170-ton chillers to maintain. They chill a propylene glycol solution that runs through them at about 500 gal/min. That solution is pumped about 600’ under the street to my building (an historic courthouse) for HVAC purposes. This time of year, I rinse the coils (10 coils roughly 3’x6’x2” in each unit) off once a week, and some of the coils are so thick with cottonwood seed that I can peel off a sheet of compacted cottonwood seed like carpet.

    It may seem like a boring task (takes about an hour per chiller), but I see it as a chance to get outside and get some fresh air and Vitamin D, so it’s not too bad. I have to do it sometime today.

    Not seeing your setup, a sound break may block a lot of that. Though a guy 2 hours once a year would probably be cheaper then having a sound break installed. Maybe sell them on it once those chillers go.

    Just finished installing a 320 ton Carrier(air cooled) It was installed to take the burden of 2 with 80,000+ hours on a building with critical IT labs.
    We mostly do centrifugal but have done 12-15 air cooled.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Modesto, CA, USA
    Posts
    7,606
    Do not overclean the coils. Coils transfer more heat if they are slightly rough. factory new clean and polished get better as a light dust film forms and causes turbrulance in the air flow.
    Bill D

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Lafayette, IN
    Posts
    4,465
    We’ve had about 4 of the coils replaced in the last year or so. The new coils don’t stay shiny very long (oxidation of the aluminum), and they all get a little dirty pretty quickly. Not to mention, we have VERY hard water here, so just rinsing them leaves behind a mineral film. I don’t have time to “overclean” them.
    Jason

    "Don't get stuck on stupid." --Lt. Gen. Russel Honore


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    The Hartland of Michigan
    Posts
    7,556
    I wrapped window screen around the ac unit to keep the fuzzies from plugging the coil.

  8. #8
    When my AC's fins get to needing cleaned up I turn off the thermostat, pull the breaker out of the box, put a basic jet-spray nozzle on the garden hose the blast the fins. First from the outside to get most of the packed-on guck off, then I pull off the fan guard and get down inside and spray the fins from the inside-out. Then I put the fan guard back on, fire it up and the fan pulls the residual water and dirt out of the fins---
    ========================================
    ELEVEN - rotary cutter tool machines
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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2021
    Location
    Columbia MO and Howard County MO
    Posts
    884
    I am still learning that the fins are very delicate, not much thicker than aluminum foil. A little carelessness has led to a lot of time spent with the fin comb cleaning up my mistakes.
    Best Regards, Maurice

  10. #10
    yes they're delicate, too much water pressure can bend them. So can dragging the spray nozzle or the hose itself across them! yup.gif
    ========================================
    ELEVEN - rotary cutter tool machines
    FOUR - CO2 lasers
    THREE- make that FOUR now - fiber lasers
    ONE - vinyl cutter
    CASmate, Corel, Gravostyle


  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Iowa USA
    Posts
    3,832
    Quote Originally Posted by Kev Williams View Post
    When my AC's fins get to needing cleaned up I turn off the thermostat, pull the breaker out of the box, put a basic jet-spray nozzle on the garden hose the blast the fins. First from the outside to get most of the packed-on guck off, then I pull off the fan guard and get down inside and spray the fins from the inside-out. Then I put the fan guard back on, fire it up and the fan pulls the residual water and dirt out of the fins---
    Good way to burn up the condenser fan motor pulling water laden air across the motor. I always waited a few minutes for the water to evaporate. Yes I know when it rains they may get damp but that is a lot less water. In fact at times I covered the motor with plastic to keep off the soapy water when washing.
    Retired Guy- Central Iowa. , LightObject 40w CO2 Laser and Chiller , WorkBee 1000x750 CNC Router - Mach4 - Windows 10

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