The condensing unit's job is to diffuse and reject heat, while the evaporator coil absorbs heat.
All HVAC technicians learn this as the first step in their cooling education.
The condenser is located in the big boxy exterior unit at most buildings.
Heat pumps also use condensers, but most people North of Denver do not use heat pumps because the efficiency of heat pumps decreases as the temperature drops.
The condenser along with the compressor is the main transferor of heat between the outside air and the air blowing through your house.
To do this, the compressor must be sealed inside the cooling cycle, and that is why compressor replacements are so common.
It is very hard to try and repair something that is sealed within the system.
On the other hand, there are many things you can do to try and maintain the life of your condensing unit.
If not properly maintained, the condenser and most other air conditioning parts will go into a downward spiral before they self destruct.
As the parts become worn and less efficient, the compressor and blower motor will start working harder to try and keep cooling despite reduced ability.
Eventually parts overheat and fail.
One thing you can do to maintain your Denver HVAC system to to check the outside cooling unit before summer starts and it is in heavy use.
I recommend calling a Denver air conditioner company to perform the check, but if you feel handy and know how to operate around electricity, then go ahead.
The first step before doing any work on a condensing unit is to shut of the breaker supplying electricity to the unit.
Spin the fan and see if it turns.
Then turn on the power and switch on the thermostat and make sure the fan starts blowing upward a good deal.
A common problem with these condenser motors is bearing failure, which will stop the fan from spinning properly.
The main reason you want to check the condenser fan motor before you operate the system is because it is connected to the compressor.
A failure at the fan can overload the compressor, and the compressor is a much more expensive part than the condenser motor.
Just like evaporator coils, condenser coils can build up dirt and gunk which will decrease efficiency.
Just like everything else in central air, as efficiency goes down, the system tries to work harder to compensate until it fails.
The solution is to call an air conditioning services Denver company to clean the condenser coils.
You can also do it yourself, but you will need to turn the thermostat and breaker off and pull the plug on the condenser electrical box.
You will need to spray the condenser with enough pressure to remove dirt without bending the fins.
A little soap can help too.
The key to maintaining performance with these units is maximizing airflow.
So the condenser should be clean and the exterior unit should have clear airflow.