How much do you know about your air conditioner and how it works? When it comes to your HVAC system, it is important to know the basics. Understanding how your system works allows you to take better care of it. To learn how your entire system works, it is best to start with understanding what each part and its function. In this B&L Ott guide, you can learn how to identify and care for the condenser coil. With the right maintenance, your system will last longer and save you money.

The Basics

A condenser coil is a part of the refrigeration system inside your air conditioner. It aids in transferring and exchanging heat in your home. It is filled with a substance called refrigerant that circulates through both an indoor and outdoor coil.

The refrigerant is cool when it is sent inside your home. The indoor fan blows the air in your home across the indoor coil. During this process, the refrigerant absorbs the heat. Then it is transported back outside. This leaves the air in your home cooler. Once outside, a fan blows air across the coil and a compressor changes the pressure of the refrigerant. This helps dissipate the heat and cool the refrigerant.

It might sound bizarre, but this process can still cool your home, even when Berks County summer hit 100 degrees. The key is the refrigerant which can operate at different temperatures and pressures. It can still dissipate heat when the temperature outside is much hotter than the temperature inside.


The condenser coil is located in the outside unit where your compressor is. It looks very similar to the radiator in your car. However, it may look a little different if you get a Trane all-aluminum spine fin coils. Basically, these coils look like a tube with a bunch of little fingers coming off of them. This design allows the coils to operate at a higher efficiency than most other coils.

B&L Ott Recommendations

B&L Ott uses Trane systems that have protected coils. This way, the outdoor placement of your unit is not as critical. However, we do recommend installing the outdoor unit away from trees and falling debris. If too many leaves, pollen, dirt, or dust fall into your unit, it can clog the coils and prevent proper ventilation. In fall, B&L Ott also recommends covering your outdoor unit with a Trane-specific condenser cover. These covers keep dirt and debris out but still allow air to circulate inside the unit.

Trane specific units use a powder coated cabinet to house the condenser coil. These cabinets are like no other in the industry. They greatly resist rust and corrosion to keep the condenser coil well protected, without starving the system for air. Remember, there should not be anything on these units during the cooling season.


The only maintenance required for outdoor condenser coils is a yearly cleaning. Cleaning removes all the debris from your unit so it can work at the highest possible efficiency. A well-maintained, efficient unit will save both energy and money. On the other hand, a neglected system may experience improper refrigerant pressures, efficiency issues, or premature failure of key system components. Give B&L Ott a call for all your heating and air conditioning needs.

You should not try to clean the coil yourself. Not only is cleaning it yourself dangerous because of high-voltage, but you could also damage your unit. You have to be careful about which company you choose to clean your unit as well. Some other companies may not use the correct cleaners or may not remove all the dirt from your unit. This can damage your unit and cost you more. Calling B&L Ott is the best way to ensure that your system is cleaned and maintained properly.

What to Expect from B&L Ott

On average, air conditioners last about 8-12 years. However, most well-maintained Trane models installed by B&L Ott can see an average of 15+ years. If your coil fails, it is probably time for a new system. An evaluation by B&L Ott will help you determine the best course of action. Proper maintenance is the key to ensuring you get the most from your coil and unit.

All of B&L Ott’s technicians have gone through specific training for this type of service. To clean the unit properly, we use a foaming degreaser to loosen the dirt first, then wash away the dirt with a hose. This is a process that is proven to work and takes about an hour. Our goal is to keep your HVAC system clean and running efficiently so your family can live comfortably.