How to Clean a Window Air Conditioner

Best Air Conditioner Filter
Here are some useful tips for how to clean a window air conditioner, and ensure it keeps running well for years:

how to clean a window air conditioner(1). Dirty Filters –

The filters are something that need regular inspection. Every couple of weeks during the cooling season they need to be checked. Smokers should check theirs once a week. To clean them, they need to first be removed from the air conditioner.

Then wet them down thoroughly and place them in the bottom of your sink. Now sprinkle some laundry detergent onto the filter surface. Let it sit for several minutes. Add some warm water into your sink, so your filter is totally submerged.

Let it soak for around 15 minutes. Now you can remove the filter and rinse. Let it sit and air dry.

(2). Dirty/Blocked Cooling Coils –

Air conditioners require regular maintenance. That generally means about every couple of years. The best scenario is yearly, just prior to the hot season. This maintenance can be a bit costly unless you choose to do it yourself. While you’re cleaning your unit, your cooling coil needs to be washed and de-greased in order to get out all of the dirt and debris it has accumulated.

The de-greasing part is particularly important as it removes any type of coating that is sticking to the coil. If you fail to de-grease, there will be a greasy residue on the coil that traps air borne particles and holds them there. Then you will have those particles building up on your coil, and it will affect your heat transfer.

If you let this go for too long, it can result in your cooling coil being partially blocked by the buildup. That reduces your air flow.

(3). Dirty/Blocked Condenser Coils –

A condenser coil will be located at the back of your air conditioner. It has the job of dissipating heat that your unit removes from the room. Just as with the cooling coils, the condenser coils on air conditioners also need to be cleaned regularly. Because it is located on the outside of your home, it has lots of exposure to pollen, smog, and dirt.

Because the direction of your unit’s air flow goes from inside to out, it’s the surface on the inside of your condenser that gets dirty. In order for you to clean this part properly, your unit will need to be totally disassembled.

If you fail to clean it regularly, your air flow will be blocked and your compressor can burn out. Even before something this drastic takes place, the reduction in air flow will cause poor performance and reduced efficiency from your unit. It affects the internal pressure/temperature relationships, resulting in ice production on your cooling coil.

(4). Inefficient Compressors –

Just like it was described above, having an inefficient compressor may cause icing on your unit. If your compressor isn’t able to properly pump refrigerant, you cooling coil might not be getting as cold as it needs to be for shutting off your cold control.

Chances are, it may hover around just above what the cut-off point is. Whenever this happens, your cooling coil starts to refrigerate. Now you will see that your cooling coil has ice on it. If your compressor is faulty, then you will have to replace your entire unit.

It is worthwhile to take note of the fact, that many times icing problems get mis-diagnosed as being compressor problems, when actually they are one of the other problems discussed above in this article.

(5). Too Little or Too Much Refrigerant –

Either scenario here may result in the icing condition mentioned above. If your unit has been repaired recently, then the problem could be ‘too much refrigerant’.

When you couple that with an air flow problem, the diagnosis can be difficult. If your unit HAS NOT been recently repaired, then it could be that your problem is air flow and maybe not refrigerant imbalance.

(6). Too Cool Outside –

You can experience the icing of your unit anytime the temperature outside is under 60 degrees. When the temperature outside is too low for your air conditioner, it can affect the pressure/temperature relations. If the temperature outside drops, so does your cooling coil temperature.

It will drop as far as causing the coil to refrigerate your room’s air. That will result in your cooling coil starting to produce the ice. You will see that this problem is much more prevalent during the Fall season as temps drop. When it’s hot during daytime hours, and then cold at night, you should suspect this to be the problem with your unit and icing.

When you suspect this, you should try running your unit from the ‘fan-only’ position. You should leave your re-circulating vent open. That helps to circulate your room air without any cooling, and you’re still bringing in small amounts of the outside air at night.

(7). Oversized Air Conditioners –

When your unit is too large for the room size it is cooling, then icing can occur. You also lose energy efficiency. Oversized units can experience the ‘stop and start’ cycles every few minutes. Always match the unit size to your room size.

(8). Cold Control Will Not Shut Off –

When this happens your cooling coil surface temp will drop under the room’s dew point. That results in it refrigerating. Then you will have the icing buildup on your cooling coil.

(9). Cold Control Bulb is Loose or Broken –

This has the same result that is mentioned above – Ice buildup. You can check this by removing the front grille and inspecting the bulb. If it’s broken, simply replace the cold control. If it’s kinked, bent, or not fastened securely, then there is a problem right there that needs to be addressed.

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