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TGrayson 07-03-2012 03:19 PM

Can you paint the fins of the A/C outdoor unit
About a year ago I had a technician clean the fins on the outdoor unit of our A/C. Upon doing so the black paint on the fins was removed, now it looks like crap and I am sure it is less efficient!

Is there any reason why I cannot/shouldn't spray paint them black? If so, is there a special paint to use to help the fins reject heat? And is there anything else I need to be aware of other than covering all the components inside the unit prior to painting?

Thanks! Happy 4th!

woodchuck 07-03-2012 04:13 PM

I Don't think they were painted originally. Anything on the fins will cause them to be less efficient because the heat transfer would not be as great with a layer of paint over the aluminium fins.

CallMeVilla 07-03-2012 11:21 PM

Listen to the Woodchuck. Paint is irrelevant to efficiency.

TGrayson 07-05-2012 01:47 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Thanks for the replies. I am pretty sure the fins were originally black because it is still black on parts of the unit where the technician missed & I really do not think it is just dirty, but I could be wrong. I will take your advise & not paint it. It just looks really bad. Please take a look @ the picture I attached and any advice would be appreciated. I was thinking of just cleaning it myself with Frost King Air Conditioner Coil Foaming Cleaner.


nealtw 07-05-2012 04:22 PM

I would call Lennex or there rep. for advice. If you check images of their products, they have lots of black ones.

moshei 07-06-2012 01:56 AM

Id rather spray a primer, followed by a flat, off-white paint!

CallMeVilla 07-06-2012 06:34 AM

Thanks for the pic. Your service guy may have used a cleaner than removed the paint. Honestly, I would check the unit to see if the fins are protective instead of functionally part of the AC task. If protective, just remove the fins (lift off?), spray prime and paint.

Your bigger concern is AC performance. Check out this resource for good tips:

TGrayson 07-06-2012 02:06 PM

Thanks CallMeVilla. I will check to see if the fins are protective or not & listen to the HandyGuys Podcast. Are you saying that if they are functional I should not paint them? I do believe they are functional. Here are the specs:

Condenser Coil;
Outer Coil Net face area - sq. ft. (m2) 11.41 (1.06).
Inner Coil: N/A
Tube diameter - in. (mm) 5/16 (7.9)
No. of rows: 1
Fins per inch (m): 22 (866)

The unit is at least 9 years old. Everything is original except for the capacitors. I recent replaced the fan/motor capacitor after a technician had split the dual capacitor a few years back. So I am just trying to maintain it to get it through at least one more summer before I have to replace the whole system. I even recently got an EPA 608 certification so I could recharge it with R22 myself to save money. It works great. Temperature is at least 15 degrees colder than the air going into the returns. :)

I will physically check the fins later. It is too hot outside to work on it right now & I really don't want to shut off the A/C to check it.

Thanks again!

kok328 07-06-2012 04:43 PM

9yrs old is not old. Personally, I wouldn't worry about the paint on the fins. Most cleaners will end up removing the paint. go easy on the cleaner, it will eventually eat through the aluminum. congratulations on your certification but, be careful not to overcharge the system. You should be seeing a 20 degree drop between return & supply.

TGrayson 07-07-2012 12:44 AM

Thanks for the reply. My wife is more interested in how the unit looks, I, on the other hand, am more interested in the functionality of the fins. She wanted me to paint them so it looks better & I wanted to know if doing so would hinder the units efficiency.

As far as the air temperature coming out of the vents, I was thinking that it's Nominal Tonnage (kW) @ 3 (10.6) was possibly too small for our 2 story 1900 square foot home (only 1 unit/zone). So I was happy getting it to 15 degrees difference. Should I be happy?

Thanks again!

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