Top Causes Of Bent Air Conditioner (AC) Fins
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Top Causes of Bent Air Conditioner (AC) Fins and Ways to Respond

Top Causes of Bent Air Conditioner (AC) Fins and Ways to Respond

Bent air conditioner (AC) fins can cause a slew of issues to your unit. Some problems have quick fixes, while others are permanent damage. If your unit has bent fins, it is in your best interest to straighten them out as soon as you can.

Common causes of bent AC fins include:

  • Pressure washing
  • Hail
  • Tree debris
  • Twigs
  • Rocks
  • Other strong impacts that may cause bends

View our comprehensive outline to find out what to do if your fins are bent and how they can potentially damage your AC unit.

What Are AC Fins?

AC fins, also known as vents or condenser fins, have two purposes. First, they allow warm air to flow into your unit and then be converted into cold air to be redistributed to your home. Second, they help prevent debris or foreign objects from getting stuck in the unit, which could damage it.

How to Respond to Bent Air Conditioner Fins

When you have bent air conditioner fins, it’s important to fix them. Fortunately, it is not a tough fix and it can often be done on your own. However, if you do not feel comfortable performing the following steps, then call a professional on our team to help you out.

Here are the essential steps to straightening your air conditioning fins:

  1. Disconnect the power to your AC unit before doing any work on the fins. This is important for your safety.
  2. Remove the access panel to the unit, and then remove the wire grille. This step exposes the fins.
  3. Remove the screws and gently lift the fan and the grille out.
  4. Take off the front cover plate from the evaporator coil.
  5. Match the fin tool’s head with the correct number of fins per inch on your system.
  6. Beginning at the bottom of the fins, insert the fin tool and carefully move it upwards to straighten out the fins.

Why Are Bent HVAC Fins a Problem?

Bent HVAC fins are a problem because they cause more heat to be trapped inside the unit, meaning it cannot escape as easily. This can lead to performance problems and may cause your AC unit to work harder to cool down your space, leading to higher energy bills.

Straightening the AC fins makes the cooling process easier and more efficient, helping ensure your AC runs smoothly. This can help promote longevity and is part of good AC maintenance.

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4 Common Issues Caused by Damaged Air Conditioner Fins

Straightening your AC fins is essential for a cool home and manageable energy bills. If you don’t fix your bent AC fins, it could lead to more problems down the line, including the following:

1. Reduced Airflow

Crushed or bent fins prevent an efficient flow of air into your unit, which can reduce the amount of cool air that gets to your home. This restricted airflow puts strain on your system, which may cause it to work harder to cool down your residence.

This leads to reduced performance, longer cooling cycles, and higher energy bills. Reduced airflow can also lead to uneven cooling, with certain areas of your home being colder than other parts.

2. Decreased System Efficiency

Fins are specifically designed to maximize the heat exchange in your unit by increasing the surface area that the heat is transferred to. If the fins are damaged, then their purpose is obsolete.

Flattened or bent fins reduce the contact area between the condenser coils and air—meaning less heat transfer efficiency. The end result? Your AC is working harder than it has to.

3. Ice Build-Up

Another issue with bent fins is that it may cause ice build-up on the evaporator coils. Since bent fins prevent optimal heat transfer, the coils may not be receiving as much hot air as they are supposed to.

This causes them to become excessively cold, potentially leading to them freezing. Once frozen, ice will continue to build up and can lead to even more serious issues like compressor failure or complete system breakdown.

4. Unit Overheating

Bent fins make your unit work extra hard. Because of this, more energy and heat are generated while it works to cool your home. Your system is running at higher temperatures than it should, and if that happens for a long time, it can lead to an overheated unit. This in turn leads to component failures and potential permanent damage.

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Professional Air Conditioning Repair and Installation Services in Southeast Wisconsin

If you have bent fins and want to ensure they are straightened out properly, contact the team of professionals at The Theilmann Group. We offer extensive HVAC services in Kenosha, Wisconsin and are available to help you with your malfunctioning air conditioning system.

In addition to fixing bent AC fins, we also offer other air conditioning services, including air conditioning repair, replacement, and maintenance. If your system is short cycling or is distributing warm air in your house, contact our team by phone at (262) 299-6197 to receive assistance.

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