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It doesn’t matter if you’ve got the best air conditioner out there; nobody likes powering on their AC to find it sputtering and blowing warm air in the heat of summer. Failing to maintain your unit will result in this exact scenario. But good news! Window AC unit maintenance is generally simple.
Below, we’ll go through the most common maintenance steps for window units so that you don’t have to stand in front of an open freezer in mid-July. And if you find that your unit is too far gone, check out our picks for the best energy-efficient window air conditioners available.
Proper storage is key to preserving the quality of your window AC unit. Always clean and drain your unit and any clogged filters before storage. Then, store it in a dry place that won’t drop below freezing.
There are many types of air conditioners, all of which require upkeep. Window AC units need specific care if you want to keep them running correctly for a long time. So if you’ve been asking yourself questions like, “Why is my window air conditioner freezing up?” you likely have a bit of work to do on your AC. Fortunately, the steps below are simple but must be done routinely for the best results.
Now, if you’re having issues with a central AC unit, you may want to read our articles on why your air conditioner pipes are freezing. Or, if you simply want to further your AC knowledge, read up on the differences between aluminum vs copper air conditioner coils.
Failing to keep a clean filter is a common cause of AC malfunction, from a loss of air quality to reduced airflow. Cleaning the filter also prevents frozen evaporator coils, decreases your energy bills, and allows the unit to stay at maximum output. To add to your regular maintenance routine, you can invest in cloths and condenser fin brushes that can effectively clean dust and debris from a dirty air filter within an appliance like a window air conditioning unit. A soft-bristle brush will keep the unit clean while also being gentle on the AC’s internal components like sets of coils.
If you have a reusable filter, wash it monthly with soapy water. If while washing the filter with water, detergent, and a damp cloth, you notice your water turns into dirty water, change out the water. Let the filter dry completely before placing it back into your air conditioner. If your filter is disposable, you’ll need to buy and install a new one.
Of course, if your unit is too far gone, it may be time to check into when a home warranty will replace an air conditioner.
Checking the aluminum fins is a great thing to do before using your AC unit for the first time every summer. First, examine the fins at the back of the unit and see if they are bent or dirty. If dirty, wash with warm water and mild soap. For any bent fins, you can purchase a tool called an AC fin comb to straighten the fins. Ensuring the fins are clean and straight increases the air conditioner unit’s efficiency while decreasing energy consumption.
Each window AC unit has a drain pan that collects condensation from the condenser coils. You should check this twice a year — in the spring before you turn it on for the first time and again after summer is over and you’re getting it ready for winter storage.
Failing to clean your air filter causes dust particles in the unit’s airflow, resulting in lower indoor air quality.
Ensure that the pan is clean, and the drain port is not clogged. You may also want to check this every few weeks over the summer to avoid other issues, such as mildew and mold growing inside the unit.
STAT: Keeping a clean energy filter can help homeowners save up to 15% on monthly energy bills. (source)