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The air conditioner’s condenser is a crucial component in the whole AC system. It is the part of the HVAC system that is installed outside the house and is connected to the air handler through a hose. It is in the condenser where the hot air that the AC sucks from the house, gets condensed so that the air conditioning unit could provide cold air indoors.

And while it is weather-proof, it is possible that the condenser can incur damage. It is also likely that some parts could get worn out over time. For the condenser, typical damage involves wearing out of the coils. A licensed HVAC technician can easily spot issues within a condenser, so when the AC is not performing as best as it usually does, consult one for an HVAC assessment.

Common problems involving the AC condenser

Like any part of the AC mechanism, the AC condenser could suffer wear and tear over time. If ill-maintained, parts can wear out even sooner. Below are some of the common problems involving the AC condenser:

  • Blockages. Debris could easily get through the grills of the condenser. These are usually dried leaves and twigs that manage to slide through the holes in the frame. These particles and debris can eventually end up jamming up the mechanisms within the condenser causing it to malfunction, or worse, break down. If the AC seldom gets professional tune-up and maintenance, these blockages could eventually cause critical damage to the condenser. Reliable Standard Heating and Air can help solve this issue. Also be sure to check your hvac condensate drain pan for any leaks or overflowing.
  • Filth and other obstructions. Condensers can easily gather filth given that it is mounted outside the house. This dust can pile up and eventually affect the performance of the condenser. Moreover, the grass and bushes growing around the condenser can also obstruct the airflow within the condenser. The growth could even end up inside the condenser causing damage to the mechanical parts. Homeowners should keep this in check, by ensuring that there is at least one-foot clearance within the perimeter of the condenser.  
  • Coil damage. Damage to the coils is a serious condenser problem that requires immediate professional attention. Corrosion and debris are the common culprits when it comes to coil damage.

When to replace an AC condenser?

Before embarking on a new purchase, it is wise to evaluate whether buying a new condenser is worth it. Will it be better to buy a new condenser given the repairs it calls for? How frequently does the condenser need to get repaired? Are the other components of the HVAC system breaking down from time to time? If the answer to the last question is yes, and the HVAC is purchased more than 13 years ago then it may be better to buy a new HVAC unit altogether. Buying a new system would mean better energy efficiency and air conditioning features, helping the homeowner garner long-term savings.

Cost of replacing an AC condenser?

Condenser repairs can cost anywhere between $150 to $1000 depending on the nature of the problem. A replacement unit for an AC condenser on the other hand is roughly about $800 online. This amount is usually bundled with the installation fees. It may be better to have a professional assess whether it is more practical to buy a new condenser unit or to just seek repairs as the need arises. Most homeowners though who have relatively older systems do end up choosing to buy new condenser units instead to save on repair costs and avoid the hassle of AC breakdowns and repairs.

Depending on the size of the AC system, condensers bought from manufacturers usually range from $780 to $2900, plus the cost of professional installation. Having a new condenser though improves energy efficiency, and reduces the inconvenience of AC breakdowns due to condenser malfunction.

If you are considering replacing your AC condenser, or in need of a tune-up, repair, or maintenance of your condenser and whole HVAC system? Get in touch with us at Reliable Standard Heating, Air, & Solar and we will be more than happy to assist you! Call us anytime, or schedule a technical visit on your preferred date using our online platform.   

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