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Keeping The AC Compressor Clean

Keeping the AC compressor clean.

This is a very important point.  AC compressors can get very dirty depending on what surrounds the unit.

This unit is surrounded by dirt.

It is also very close to the ground.

The AC compressor should be at least 3" above the soil level to allow for drainage.

Typically the compressor is sitting on a little pad, either plastic or concrete, which can sink into the soil over time.

But it is also wise to surround the unit with gravel or grass or concrete so that rain or water dripping from a deck above will not splatter mud onto the protective cover.

The unit pictured here is covered with mud!  It is an older unit which was sitting on its original pad.  That pad was at ground level at the time of this inspection.  And it was caked with mud.

That restricts air flow through the openings so the coils inside will not be able to dissipate heat properly and this affects the efficiency of the whole system dramatically.

My recommendation:  make sure the AC compressor stays clean and air flow to it is not impeded by mud or bushes or fences or anything beside.  Air needs to flow freely through the unit so the system can properly function.  It is a simple matter to surround the compressor with material that will not splatter back onto the unit.  And in this case it should be done right away.

 

 

Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

Office (703) 330-6388   Cell (703) 585-7560

www.jaymarinspect.com


Comment balloon 12 commentsJay Markanich • January 03 2017 11:15AM

Comments

Thanks for sharing! That unit needs some TLC ASAP!

Posted by Kat Palmiotti, The House Kat (406-270-3667, kat@thehousekat.com, Broker, Blackstone Realty Group - brokered by eXp Realty) over 3 years ago

Good morning Jay. An awful sight to say the least! Attention needed! Enjoy your day!

Posted by Wayne Martin, Real Estate Broker - Retired (Wayne M Martin) over 3 years ago

Good morning Jay. This is really important and you have done a great job, as always, explaining it.

Posted by Sheila Anderson, The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133 (Referral Group Incorporated) over 3 years ago

Just ran into this one the other day.... out of sight, out of mind. Gotta check this stuff once in a while folks!

Posted by Fred Hernden, CMI, Albuquerque area Master Inspector (Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area) over 3 years ago

Was that near the dryer exhaust Fred?  And if so, apparently for years!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 3 years ago

You would think the installer would have place legs under the unit to elevate it above ground level. 

Posted by Stephen Weakley (Nationwide Mortgage Services) over 3 years ago

There is a pad visible, Stephen, but over the years it has sunk badly.  Feet are better than pads.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 3 years ago

My that is filthy.  I take the cover off and remove all the inside debris as well.

Posted by Ed Silva, Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally (RE/MAX Professionals, CT 203-206-0754 ) over 3 years ago

When the lesson is clear I like to use the photo, Ed!  And you are right, there was a lot of debris and mud inside.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 3 years ago

No, not near the dryer vent... that's probably the worst place for them...lol, it was a corner packed with leaves, dirt and debris. Not good either!

Posted by Fred Hernden, CMI, Albuquerque area Master Inspector (Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area) over 3 years ago

I have seen compressors that looked like they had beards near the dryer vent, Fred!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 3 years ago

Please explain to me, Ford Kenneth, what your ad has to do with my post?

And you might want to spell the word Mortgages in English.  Your word "Mortgaes" must be French?

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 3 years ago

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