It isn't uncommon for air conditioning units to be installed next to other common household utilities, but this convenience can also lead to unintended consequences. If, for example, your air conditioning unit is too close to your dryer vent, it may be sucking up loose pieces of lint. This lint can coat your condenser coil without you noticing, eventually leading to reduced airflow, overheating, and a loss of efficiency. If the lint continues to build up, it may even cause your coil or compressor to fail, requiring an expensive replacement. Although this problem can be difficult to solve permanently, there are a few steps you can take to minimize the amount of lint that ends up in your air conditioner.
Considering Physical Barriers
Many home improvement or hardware stores sell caps designed to fit over dryer vents. These are intended to catch lint as it exits and collect it all in one place, which can prove useful in the short run. You should, however, be aware of the potential for these caps to block the exhaust vent, which can lead to decreased dryer efficiency and also put your home at risk for fires. Rather than choosing the quick but more hazardous option, it may be better to find a more effective solution.
Rerouting the Dryer Vent
Perhaps the most common permanent fix to this problem is to simply move the dryer vent by installing a bend and extending the duct another few feet. This minor alteration can direct the lint away from your air conditioning unit, making it less of an issue without blocking your vent. An HVAC contractor should be able to complete this work quickly and affordably, but it may not be an option for older systems or an exhaust vent that is already at its maximum permitted length. Check with your HVAC service to find out if your vent is eligible for this modification.
Scheduling More Regular Maintenance
When rerouting the dryer vent isn't an option or proves ineffective, you may have to learn to live with your air conditioning unit's lint collection problem. This typically involves scheduling more frequent air conditioning maintenance to keep your coil and compressor clean and functioning properly. If nothing else, the extra maintenance may help your machine last much longer than it would otherwise and allow your technician to catch any problems early on, so it may prove to be a net benefit overall. If you have been fighting to keep the lint out of your air conditioner and are tired of the constant struggle, call your HVAC service today to go over your problem and explore the best solution for your particular system. For more information, visit websites like http://www.getzschman.com.