Just like any other home appliance, an A/C system requires care. Taking care of your air conditioning unit will not only help prolong its life but also keep it at its topmost working condition. This helps you save on your energy costs. Generally, basic maintenance can be done by you. However, if it requires repair or replacement, hiring an expert contractor is the best option.
Here are a few tips on how to maintain a window and portable A/C units. These care tips need to be done at least once or twice a year to make sure that your A/C will work efficiently.
Clean or Replace the Filters
The most basic way to maintain a window or portable A/C unit is to regularly wash the filter screen. Do this as often as necessary, depending on usage; this could mean as frequently as once or twice a month. To remove unit’s the mesh filter of a window unit, use a putty knife to pop it out from the unit’s front grill. Then, wash the filter and the grill, with a mixture of bleach and warm soapy water. The bleach helps in removing any mold that sits on the filter. Afterward, rinse it thoroughly and wait until it dries before placing it back into the unit. However, if your unit comes with a carbon filter, you need to replace it based on your manufacturer’s guide.
Clean the coils
Window A/Cs come with an evaporator coil, which is located under the filter, and a condenser coil, which is located at the back of the unit. These coils need to be cleaned to keep you’re A/C unit working strong. You can use a vacuum or a plastic scrub brush to remove any stubborn dirt that sticks on the coils. This removes the dirt and debris that block the air flow from your unit.
Straighten the Fins
Check the coil fins of window units for bent or crooked places, and straighten them using a fin comb. Fin combs are available at various hardware and home improvement stores.
Though portable A/C units do not require a permanent installation, its condensed hot air needs to be vented out through a venting kit, which is usually included with purchase. The vent hose along with the exhaust hose should be glided into a window. If venting through a window is not possible, you can vent your portable A/C unit through the wall or drop ceiling. Though this method requires more work, this allows cooling an area that does not have windows.
Drain the Water
A portable A/C unit works like a dehumidifier. It collects the water from the air and uses it to produce cool air. If you live in an especially humid area, the unit may be able to collect a good amount of water. This condensate needs to be removed regularly for a better cooling efficiency.
Some portable A/C units collect the condensate in a bucket, which needs to be emptied on a regular basis. Some more advanced units now have the ability to disperse more moisture, resulting in less or no condensate that needs to be emptied.
Clean the Exterior of the Unit
Clean the housing of your portable A/C at least once or twice a month, and keep it away from direct exposure to sunlight as this will change the color of your unit housing.
Jared Staten is a freelance writer based in Savannah, Georgia; those unable to do their own AC upkeep should contact air conditioning repair Carrollton.