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Dulley's Money-Saving Tip #1013

Tighten screws on outdoor sheet metal housing

(related Dulley column topic links - 763, 803, 921)

If you have a central air conditioner or heat pump, check the condition of the outdoor compressor unit housing. It is very important that no sheet metal screws are missing and that they all are tightened. Also check that none of the sheet metal panels are missing or bent creating gaps at the joints. If any are bent, remove them and straighten them out with a hammer, pliers or vice.

The reason for this is that the cover on the outdoor unit does more than just protect the internal parts of the compressor unit. It is also designed to create the proper air flow path through the condenser coils for maximum efficiency, cooling or heating output and long life. Any gaps or loose parts will allow the fan to suck air around the condenser coils instead of through them.