Understanding Your Air Conditioning Condenser

Your HVAC system is responsible for keeping your home comfortable throughout the seasons. An air conditioning unit seems simple but behind the scenes there may be some maintenance issues you might not be aware of.

HVAC systems have many intricate networks and parts that work together to ensure your home is comfortable. The air conditioning condenser is one of them. Without a condenser, your AC unit might be unable to keep up with the demand when a heat wave strikes.

Learn more about your AC’s condenser and the signs to look out for if your condenser is not operating efficiently.

What is an air conditioning condenser?

An air conditioning condenser is the component that releases the heat that has been removed from inside your home. It’s typically located outside the building and transfers heat from the refrigerant in the air conditioning system to the outside air.

The condenser contains a series of coils, usually made of copper or aluminum, through which the refrigerant flows. As warm air is drawn into the AC unit, the refrigerant absorbs the heat from the air and carries it to the condenser. A fan blows the outside air over the coils, which causes it to release the heat from the refrigerant and dissipates it into the atmosphere.

Signs Your Air Conditioning Condenser is Bad

A malfunctioning condenser can impede your AC’s ability to cool your home and in severe cases, cause it to fail.

Know these 3 signs to help you detect and address any condenser problems:

Reduced Cooling

Warm or hot air blowing from your vents, is often a sign that there’s a problem. If you are experiencing this, the condenser is likely preventing your unit from circulating the refrigerant.

Refrigerant Leaks

The refrigerant line connects the indoor evaporator and the AC condenser. Thus, enabling the circulation of refrigerant between the indoor and outdoor units. Leaks in the refrigerant line can lead to a complete system breakdown. Such leaks may also occur at the compressor connections along the condenser coil.

You can identify refrigerant leaks by the following indicators:

  • a decrease in your systems capacity to produce cool air
  • hissing sounds from the condenser
  • frost buildup on certain parts of the unit

Loud Noises

An air conditioning system that is well-maintained and efficient, will never make a loud or unusual noise. While unusual sounds can result from other problems, it’s likely due to a condenser issue.

If you notice any of these issues mentioned above, it’s time to call an HVAC pro.


Your air conditioner condenser plays a vital role in the cooling process of your home. When your AC’s condenser begins to breakdown, it can reduce your air conditioner’s capacity to cool your home. Failing to resolve this issue can result in component failure or even require replacement.

If you suspect your condenser is not performing, contact a Chas Roberts HVAC expert.

Chas Roberts is the oldest and largest family-owned residential HVAC company in Arizona and has been in business for over 75 years. Contact us for quality, reliable service.