When should I clean the outside A/C coil ?

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Old 10-21-20, 12:08 PM
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When should I clean the outside A/C coil ?

I have a RHEEM 2 ton 16 seer ra14 air conditioner - air cooled condensing unit - RA1424AJ1NA.
In the manual, it says that I should clean the outdoor coil once a year.
I cannot do it myself because I live in a condo and it's on the roof, and I don't have the equipment, so I have to pay $150 for a technician to do it.
The Rheem manual says that I should be cleaned once a year. My AC unit is 1 year and 3 months old, so theoretically, I should do the cleaning.
In practice, does it have to be cleaned once a year or can it be more?
 
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Old 10-21-20, 12:15 PM
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It depends how dirty it is. Ones on the ground typically get dirtier from lawn mowing, leaves, etc. One on the roof would likely stay clean longer but a once a year inspection and cleaning is a good rule of thumb... Especially right before cooling season begins.
 
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Old 10-21-20, 12:19 PM
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Thank you. I live in Miami, you spoke about cooling season, would the weather there change the cleaning frequency or no?
 
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Old 10-21-20, 12:39 PM
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In areas where an AC is used year round, it may need more frequent cleaning since it is being used more, but as I mentioned, if yours is on a roof it probably stays pretty clean, and once a year would be sufficient. I'm not going to contradict your manual which specifically says once a year.
 
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Old 10-21-20, 12:43 PM
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A yearly cleaning would only be required under the worst conditions.... typically under the conditions X mentioned.
I recommend every other year.

With your roof mounted unit.... it may be several years between cleanings.
 
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Old 10-21-20, 02:15 PM
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When you do hire this done, can you accompany the tech onto the roof and observe the condition of the unit and then decide on future cleanings?. I suspect you can delay future cleanings considerably. Also, look at the other units up there. If they are in a cluster, how do they look? Willing to bet your neighbors do not do a once a year cleaning.
 
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Old 10-21-20, 02:20 PM
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I will wait for 2 years (9 more months). If someone has pictures what a dirty coil is and what a clean is, that would be nice.
 
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Old 10-21-20, 02:37 PM
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If your condenser is visible from the ground maybe you could see under the louver fins with binoculars once you know what to look for.
Pic request: our spine fin unit considered dirty and clean.
This one is cleaned by removing the panels and back flushing. It doesn't need all that debris driven into the spine fins farther with a hi-pressure water hose as some technicians do it so I clean it myself.


 
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Old 10-21-20, 02:57 PM
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OK, I will ask the condo association if I can have the permission to go on the roof and check if it needs coil cleaning or no. If yes, I will take pictures.
 
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Old 10-21-20, 03:37 PM
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I talked to the condo manager and she told me that only a certified AC technician is allowed to go on the roof for that. Then she told me that they don't clean the coil on the roof, but remove the freon, then go to the condo and remove the coil from the air handler and clean it, then go back to the roof to put the freon back. I thought that the cleaning was done on the outside coil, not the inside one. Who is right?
 
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Old 10-21-20, 04:14 PM
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Try getting that done for $150.
 
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Old 10-21-20, 04:21 PM
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That sounds about right for a manager

If the filter that is designed to keep the indoor coil ( the evaporator coil ) clean, that indoor coil won't need cleaning for the life of the unit. This blower pictured is of our 37 year old unit. Does it look as if the coil just after it in the air stream would need cleaning? I doubt it.

BTW, I don't have a clue how to attach a quote on this forum.

 
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Last edited by XSleeper; 10-21-20 at 06:50 PM. Reason: removed screen shot image
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Old 10-22-20, 07:40 AM
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I contend that is should not be necessary to take apart pipework or drain/refill the existing Freon during a cleaning session.

If it really needs Freon then okay to do a cleaning at the same time.
 
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Old 10-22-20, 08:41 PM
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Who is responsible for the A/C system...... you or the condo association ?
The evaporator coil is never routinely removed for cleaning.
It may be removed if it was completely blocked but that would be rare.


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Old 10-22-20, 08:47 PM
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It's me who is responsible, but the AC technician must ask the authorization to the condo association to go to the roof
 
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Old 10-22-20, 09:15 PM
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So you pick the company or does the condo association have a "preferred" company ?
I work with condo associations. They can be miserable.
 
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Old 10-22-20, 10:29 PM
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The manager said that she has a list of companies which are already allowed, and she can give me the list. If the company is not in her list, they need to contact her first so she checks they are insured and certified.
 
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Old 10-23-20, 08:54 AM
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which coil are they removing for cleaning. why would you remove the condenser coil for cleaning. nobody will do that for $150 maybe $500 if your lucky.
your manager is an idiot. i would question her on that and find her logic behind removing the unit for service
 
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Old 10-23-20, 09:02 AM
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You're right about my manager, I won't question her about that. I will just do outdoor coil cleaning in 9 months.
 
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