This is why the unit should be cleaned and serviced every year. Ideally, the unit should be removed. However, this is not always possible. If you plan on leaving the unit in over the colder months, you should consider purchasing through the wall air conditioner covers for winter.
Here is our favorite through the wall air conditioner cover. And for less than $40, you really can’t go wrong.
Below is some advice for keeping up the maintenance on your through the wall air conditioner unit.
1. Unplug the power cord. Remove the a/c unit from the window. Loosen the side panels and lift the unit away from the window, with a shim or proper used to hold the window up and out of the way. It is a good idea to have an extra pair of hands for this job, as a/c units are heavier toward the back of the unit that hangs outside the house. The unit can be placed out of the way so it can be cleaned and maintained.
2. Remove the filter which is typically located on the top or front of the unit. It can be cleaned with mild soap and water and rinsed. The unit should air dry. If the filter is damaged it should be replaced. If not, it can be vacuumed or rinsed, depending on the construction of the filter. You can also use the vacuum to suck out any loose dust or debris from the space the filter occupies.
3. Remove the outer cabinet of the a/c unit. Wash the housing and remove any dirt or debris that has accumulated.
4. Remove dust and debris sitting inside the appliance. You may need a crevice tool to get into small spaces where dust tends to accumulate. You can also wash the inside surfaces, avoiding electrical parts. An old paint brush or toothbrush may work well for smaller spaces.
5. Every surface that as been washed should be rinsed. If you have concerns about electrical parts, cover them with plastic. When every washed part has been rinsed, you can pat dry or eave the outer cabinet off overnight to allow for thorough drying.
6. Straighten any evaporator fins that have become pushed out of place or bend. If fins are damaged, the entire fin unit can be purchased from a hardware or DIY store.
7. If you have a suitable, dry space to store the window air conditioner unit for the winter, this is the best option. Otherwise, a suitable cover can be purchased to protect the components of the unit from the elements.