When the summer is coming you are looking forward to installing your window AC unit on a sill and enjoying cold fresh at home. But when you focus only on the installation and completely overlook the maintenance and cleaning of the appliance you could be punished by the not-working machine in the middle of heatwaves. If you are a responsible person and want to prolong the life of your machine you should follow the best tips on how to maintain a window air conditioner in this guide.
Prevention is the best way how to reduce the consumption of electric energy (check my energy efficient window air conditioners review and buying guide), payment for hiring professional customer services as well as your effort and stress. Sometimes is better to spend a couple of minutes preparing the machine for a season or cleaning it during the hot months than purchasing a new expensive appliance.
Be sure you don’t underestimate any of the tips because many of them are crucial and the rest is very important. If you skip or overlook one of them it could lead to serious damage to your unit. Keep it in mind and stay cool for a long time!
How To Maintain a Window Air Conditioner in Tips and Tricks
One of the biggest window AC unit advantages is that maintenance is more than easy. You don’t need to pay for cleaning and maintaining and you can do everything on your own.
I assumed the best tips and tricks that can help you prolong the life of the unit. You can walk through and read about the main steps of improving the performance of the unit without having to pay high amounts for a team of experts.
Scrub Down a Condenser and Evaporator Coil
Since the unit is positioned on an open window and the air is flowing through the inner parts are very sensitive to dirt sedimenting there. You pay attention to these parts and clean there regularly.
Dirt and dust inside lead to accumulating heat inside. The unit can’t work properly and the consequence is that it has to consume more electric energy. It means your bill skyrocket.
Before every summer season, you should clean the condenser and evaporator coil very carefully. You will appreciate two amazing helpers a bristle brush and a vacuum cleaner. They allow you to clean the space and the part precisely. Always keep in mind when you are cleaning this part of the AC unit you are very close to the coil fins. These fins are very thin and you can bend them easily.
Check the Slope of Water Pan and Clean It
Lots of people struggle with dripping water from the front panel of a window air conditioner unit. This happens when you underestimate the maintenance of a water pan.
You should check the slope of a water pan before every season. If the AC unit is at a level there is no need to be worried about the slope of the pan. Of course, if you reinstall the device when the season ends and install it again before the season you should inspect that everything is fine.
The next step is to clean properly the water pan along with the inside base. This prevents the condensed water to get in the front part and start to drip down. It also improves the hygiene level of your machine. And you can get rid of the unpleasant odor, bacterias, gems, and allergens growing inside. Clean it b using hot water and dish soap. If you prefer something more environmentally friendly it’s possible to use vinegar or a special natural detergent.
Straighten the Coil Fins
This tip is related to the efficiency of the window AC unit. The coil fins are a very delicate part of your appliance and sometimes can happen they bend. Since they can’t work properly the efficiency becomes low.
Before every season you should inspect them and make sure they are not bent. If you realize that the coil fins need to straighten you be very careful and in the best case use the fin comb for this job.
Another very bad mistake is to operate the window air conditioner when the temperature is very low outside. The ice could block the normal use of the appliance. Keep it in mind and try no to run the unit in low temperatures.
Wash or Replace an Air Filter
The air filter is a crucial part of a window air conditioner. When the air is sucked in it has to blow through the filter to remove the dirt and dust particles otherwise the AC unit could be clogged.
When your appliance stops working the first thing you should do is check the air filter. Therefore, you shouldn’t overlook the filter and focus on cleaning or changing every few weeks. Your filter could wash in a kitchen or bathroom sink using dish soap. If you find out that there some imperfections, holes, or damages consider a replacement of the filter.
Your filter is responsible for smooth working. If it’s clogged the efficiency rapidly goes down and you will reveal the fact after receiving an energy bill because the machine consumes more energy than usual.
Remove Dirt, Obstacles, and Insect
You might don’t expect that fact but it’s very common for small animals and insects to use your widow AC unit as a sanctuary. They love this spot, especially during cold winter months.
If you look inside you can find typical visitors like bees, spiders, small bugs or rodent nests. It’s crucial to remove them all and clean the inside space. These obstacles can become a cause of not properly working machine and other issues.
For next time, you can protect your window air conditioner by using a safe place to store during winter. If you can’t use storage you should cover the unit to get rid off other visitors.
Charge or Replace Batteries In the Remote Control
I know what you think right now. It’s an obvious thing to replace the batteries in the remote control. Maybe you would be surprised by the numbers of people who underestimate this maintenance step and they think their remote control is broken or somehow nonfunctional.
The batteries could be simply weak after last season and winter months when the remote control wasn’t used. Or they could be dead. Consider their replacement before every season to avoid any inconvenient situations. And if possible consider a purchase of rechargeable batteries that can be charged every time you need. It’s a great tip on how to maintain a window air conditioner and also on saving your money along with the environment.
Prepare Winter Storage Place
Lots of people underestimate this step, unfortunately. It’s a very important thing to store your window air conditioner during cold months. Why do should I do it? The first reason is to protect it against moisture, insects, and rodents. The second reason is your machine could be damaged by exposing unpleasant winter weather. And the last reason why to put your appliance on a safe place is the possibility to close the window during cold months. If your window is open the cold air and dirt particles could get in, however, you fill the gaps.
The best place where you can safely store your device is a basement, attic or some big closet in one of the rooms. You should stay away from the garage or tool shed on a garden. Both places could be wet and there are insects finding a nice shelter in winter. Also, the rats or mice could occur and we all know how much they love to chew wires.
When the season ends it’s time to inspect your machine and follow our tips on how to maintain a window air conditioner in this guide.
The worst attitude is to skip all of the steps or some of them. You should take care of the unit before you put it in a dry and well-ventilated place. It could help you to avoid unpleasant surprises before next season.
Also, make sure everything is good condition and if I say everything it means to inspect the window as well. Check the seals and window shut and make sure there are no gaps. It would be pretty bad to find out in winter the cold air could blow through the window.
If you paid attention to the pre-winter maintenance and use our tips on how to maintain a window air conditioner the post-winter session will be faster and easier.
Again, don’t forget to inspect the window and make sure the unit is at a level to prevent a bad slope of a water pan.
Additional Possible Problems
The truth is some serious problems can pop up however you have never overlooked the maintenance and done everything properly. The best way to do in this situation is to stop the panic. If you can’t help your unit it’s time to call the customer services and contribute with them. Keep in mind it’s always better to spend a smaller amount of money and extend the life of your appliance than buy a new one.
However, it’s obvious you can struggle with low refrigerant levels, incorrect airflow in the evaporator coil, badly lubricated motor, and many others. For sure you won’t be able to fix these issues.
The Bottom Line
I prepared the best tips on how to maintain a window air conditioner in this guide to help you with your every season routine. Also, I wanted to give you a clue about what should be done before you store the machine and when you reinstall it back again. You found out what else you should do regularly during the main summer season to stay away from possible issues. I hope out step by step manual gave you a good overview and if you skip the maintenance in the last seasons you are ready to prolong the life of your unit now. If your unit has just trouble with a noise level (even after the maintenance) you can go to the top quietest window air conditioners which you can install even into your bedroom.
Save your money, effort, and stress and focus on maintenance before any trouble occurs. You will realize that it takes a couple of minutes and it’s not so annoying.
And even if your care and responsible attitude won’t help don’t hesitate to call HVAC experts and ask them for help. Keep in mind it’s more economical to spend a smaller amount of money and let them repair something than choose and pay for the new window air conditioner.