Five Important Steps to Maintain Your Window AC
Regular upkeep of your air conditioning unit is important. If you want to keep your AC unit in good working condition, then you need to take care of it. Its filters need to be washed regularly, and it needs to be checked by a professional at least once a year. If you clean and maintain your AC unit, you can be sure that it will continue to work efficiently and properly. A working AC unit will help you save on your monthly utility bills, and you won't have to pay for repairs or a new unit, either. Here’s what you need to do to maintain your window AC unit:
Washing the filter
First, you should clean your AC filter on a monthly basis. You know how the filter promotes adequate air circulation over the evaporator coil, keeping it from freezing up. If you leave this unattended, chances are dirt and dust will accumulate, making your AC inefficient. It may even break down eventually. Here's how to clean the filter:
Take the filter out.
Soak it in warm, soapy water.
Rinse off the crud.
Cleaning the fins
Your window AC unit consists of two sets of coil: the evaporator coil in the front and the condenser coil in the back. They are covered with aluminum fins and serve to transfer heat from the inside to the outside of the room. Chances are the aluminum fins may get covered in dirt, turning them into a breeding ground for mold. Here's how to clean the fins:
Mix some water and a few drops of dishwashing liquid in a spray bottle.
Spray this solution on the front and back fins and let it sit for a few minutes.
Remove the dirt with a soft-bristle brush and move it in line with the fins.
Straightening the bent fins
The bent fins in your AC unit serve to efficiently handle the heat as long as they stay in place. But they may end up touching each other, impacting your unit's efficiency and operating cost. Here's how to straighten your bent fins:
Get a fin comb or a card.
Insert it into a gap where fins are not bent.
Run it down the gap until you pass through the bent section.
Make multiple passes to get the bent fins back to their original position.
Washing the fans and the pan
As you are aware, your window AC unit has two fans: a "squirrel-cage" blower near the evaporator and a bladed fan near the condenser. As time goes by, dirt may accumulate in both parts. These ought to be removed and cleaned. Here's what you need to do:
Use the same detergent solution you prepared for the fins.
Scrub the dirt off the fan and the surrounding surfaces, then rinse the unit off
Note: the electrical parts of the unit are sealed and won't be damaged by the water.
The drain pan collects condensation that drips off the coils. Here's what you need to do to clean it:
Sluice out the dirty water from the drain pan at the bottom of the unit.
Remount the housing, taking care not to touch the fins.
Finally, fasten it with the screws.
Storing the AC in the off-season
Finally, it's important to store your AC unit during the off-season. Yes, it may be tempting to leave the unit on the window all year-round, but you need to take it out and store it somewhere else during the cold months. This is one way to ensure it will perform better when you need it to.
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