The likelihood condensing unit owners will encounter bent condenser coil fins from time to time is almost inevitable, as there is potential for frequent contact with humans and animals, other pieces of equipment, or harsh elements such as hail. However, it is crucial to keep these condenser coil fins straight. This bit of preventative maintenance helps maximize your equipment's energy efficiency, improve your condensing unit longevity, and avoid compressor failure.
The compressor is the workhorse of a condensing unit responsible for providing consistent cooling for your entire operation. Bent condenser coil fins can cause high pressures and increased runtimes due to improper airflow through the condenser. Without adequate airflow, temperatures rise. When heat cannot escape, there is a risk of compressor "burnout" or failure. Prompt repair of bent condenser coil fins protects against substantial compressor replacement costs.
There is an easy technique for straightening your condenser coil fins. All you need is a spray bottle with diluted dish soap, a fin comb sized to match the fins per inch of your condenser coil, and a steady hand. Spray the bent fins with your dish soap solution to help lubricate the fin comb. Then, place the fin comb above the damaged area and pull in a downward motion. This effort should straighten the fins.
In the following Mueller® Minutes video, Mueller-Certified Service Technician Eric Schmeling demonstrates how to straighten condenser coil fins. (Note: Fin combs are available in different sizes based on fins per inch. All Mueller condensing units have 14 fins per inch.)