How to Clean a Condenser on Water Source Heat Pumps

What You'll Need
Soft brush
Motor oil

A very important part of the maintenance of your water source heat pump is cleaning the condenser. We, more often than not, skip the cleaning of the water pump during our spring cleaning. This shouldn’t be the case. By doing simple measures like cleaning out the condenser, you actually prevent machine problems from ballooning. The condenser is the outdoor unit of your heat pump. This is the enclosure with big fans situated at the side of your house.

Step 1 – Choose the Right Day

When it comes to cleaning your condenser, you need to do so when the temperature is not below 60 degrees Fahrenheit. This will allow you to test if your condenser is working in its optimum. Just so that you can better locate your condenser, it is the one with the two foam tubes attached to it.

Step 2 – Turn off the Unit and Detach it from the Electric Source

Make sure that you do this step and double check every time you attempt to clean your condenser.

Step 3 – Vacuum the Fins

The fins are quite fragile so you want to exert the slightest amount of pressure with the use of a soft brush when it comes to cleaning the fins. Most condensers will have a metal box that you’ll have to remove in order to access the fins.

Step 4 – Clean the Interior of the Condenser

In order for you to reach the condenser, you will have to unscrew the fan. Have somebody near to lift the fan while you dust off any dust and debris located in the interior.

Step 5 – Add Oil to the Lubrication Ports

Look for lubrication ports or holes located near the motor of your condenser. Older models will have open holes while the newer ones will have the lubrication ports sealed. The holes are often labeled "Oil". Once you find these lubrication ports, add 5 drops of motor oil on each hole.

Step 6 – Oil the Belt-Driven Compressor

An older model of a water source heat pump will often have a belt-driven compressor. Look for lubrication ports on the compressor and add oil as well. Check for the tightness of the belt. Make sure that it isn’t on too tight or too loose.

Step 7 – Restart the Heat Pump

There are 2 way for you to restart your heat pump.

  • You will have to set your unit’s thermostat into “Off” for 24 hours if the unit was turned off for more than 4 hours. After the 24 hours, you can set the thermostat back into cool again.
  • If the compressor was running when you turned the unit off, wait for approximately 5 minutes before turning on again.