Salty Air And Air Conditioner Damage: What Every Coastal Homeowner Should Know

Posted on: 23 July 2015

Salt in air around coastal areas can do a lot of damage to air conditioners in a short period of time. Knowing the exact cause of corrosion and what you can do about it can help you protect your investment.  

Coil Corrosion Damages Air Conditioners

Corrosion generally causes damage to air conditioners on the outside and inside of the condenser. The exterior of the condenser is a metal casing with delicate fins where air can flow in and out. Inside the condenser are the coils that enable the air conditioner to draw heat out of the home. Both of these parts of the condenser are vulnerable to damage from salt deposits.

Over time, coil corrosion can cause the air conditioner to experience reduced heat rejection and reduced ability to cool the home. This inefficiency forces the air conditioner to run more often than necessary. Eventually, this increased frequency of use will wear out its parts.

What You Can Do

Corrosion doesn't have to destroy your air conditioner. There are a variety of things that you can do to protect your unit and prevent damage from occurring. 

  • Remove any protection from the rain. In corrosive, salty environments, rain can help wash away salt deposits, thus protecting the equipment. In addition, many protective air conditioner covers can do damage by trapping moisture in the condenser. To protect your condenser, take away any covers and allow the condenser to be exposed to rainfall.
  • Clean the condenser. Clean the inside and outside of the coil condenser with coil ph-neutral coil cleaner. Do this a couple times per year to keep the salt deposits off of the condenser exterior and coils. Use a soft-bristled brush to clean the coils, and a coil comb to clean the coil fins. Once this is done, rinse off the inside and outside of the coil with a spray from the hose.
  • Protect the coils with coil coating. Coil coating can be installed before installation, or can be applied in the field by a certified technician. Coil coating protects the coils from salt deposits. These coatings can wear off with time and need to be reapplied on a regular basis.

For more information about coil coating and other air conditioner services, speak with your HVAC repair company like Patriot Fuel Oil LLC. He or she should be able to tell you how often your air conditioner needs coil coating and what other tactics will help keep your air conditioner safe. 


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