Window Air Conditioner Maintenance

  • 01 of 03

    Window Mounted Room Air Conditioner Maintenance

    window air conditioner
    Window air conditioner. Frigidaire

    Having a window mounted room air conditioner is a great way to have respite from the summer heat without breaking the bank. Especially popular for apartments or rental homes or homes that have a radiant heat system, the window mounted room air conditioner is a wonderful appliance. It also helps if you know how to improve your home cooling with window air conditioning tricks.

    But like central air conditioning systems they require periodic maintenance. They also require proper sizing for the room...MORE they are to cool. With heating and cooling systems, bigger is not always better. Oversizing a heating or cooling appliance like an air conditioner will reduce efficiency, worsen performance and increase energy costs.

    So let's review a few things to consider when maintaining a window mounted room air conditioner or sizing it in the first place.

    Continue to 2 of 3 below.
  • 02 of 03

    Properly Sizing a Room Air Conditioner

    The cooling "size" of an air conditioner is measured in its ability to extract a certain amount of heat measured in BTU's. A common mistake when buying a room air conditioner is purchasing a unit too big for the size of the room (i.e., too many BTU's).

    Why is this a problem? Because a key element of feeling "comfortably cool" is removing humidity from the air as well as reducing the room air temperature. While an over-sized unit may quickly reduce air temperature, it will not properly...MORE reduce humidity or run efficiently. Oversizing results in humidity discomfort and expensive operation.

    To properly size a room air conditioner, I suggest using this sizing chart provided by the Energy StarĀ® program of the DOE (Department of Energy).

    Continue to 3 of 3 below.
  • 03 of 03

    Early Season Maintenance

    Waking the window mounted air conditioner up from a winter slumber involves just a few steps:

    • Remove the outdoor air conditioner cover from the outside of the air conditioner.
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    • To thoroughly check out the unit, unplug it from the wall, remove the front access cover and remove the air conditioning unit from its mounting frame.
    • Take the unit outside and vacuum out the condenser coils with a soft brush attachment. You can also hose off the coils from the...MORE inside out taking care not to get the electronics and motor wet.
    • Check the condenser coil for bent cooling fins. To straighten the bent fins use a coil fin comb. Match the teeth count of the comb to the "fins per inch" of the coil. Then carefully draw the comb across the bent coil fins straightening them out in the process.
    • Check the foam air filter for damage. If it is ripped or damaged, replace it. If it is dirty, wash the filter with dish soap and water, let dry and replace.
    • Replace the unit back into its frame. Reinstall the front cover and plug the unit back in the wall.
    • You are now ready to "chill."