Depending on where you live, the seasonal change from summer to fall can bring about significantly cooler temperatures. Here in Massachusetts, we reached 80 degrees last week, but are expecting lows around 40 all week. New England weather, you know? So, for those consumers who use window air conditioners, it will soon be time to store them away until the spring. When they do come out of the window and put into storage, it’s important to give them a good cleaning. It could help extend the life of your a/c and save you some money. Here are some tips on how to clean your air conditioner.
How to Clean Your Air Conditioner
Several months of use can cause a lot of dirt to build up inside your air conditioner. This can impact its efficiency and cooling power. A unit that you thought was broken or out of refrigerant may just need a good cleaning. It should take less than an hour to completely clean your air conditioner.
- Remove the unit from the window and bring it outside. You can place it on a hard, flat surface like a driveway or patio, or on a sturdy table.
- Remove the window brackets from the unit. You will need a phillips head screwdriver. Be sure to keep track of the screws so you can put the brackets back on.
- Remove and clean the filter. This is typically on the front of the unit that faces inside the room. Simply open up the front panel, take out the filter, spray it with soapy water, and rinse it with a hose.
- Remove the case and clean it with soap and water or a household cleaner. Again, you will need that phillips head screwdriver, and be sure to keep track of your screws so you can reassemble to unit.
- Clean the coils and fins. You can use a solution of soapy water in a spray bottle, or a special product called coil cleaner that you can find at a hardware store. With either, spray the fins on the side of the unit that would face out the window and let it sit for a few minutes.
- Clean the other interior areas. Use a household cleaner or soap and water solution to spray the interior fan, vents, and bottom area. Let them sit with the solution for a few minutes.
- Rinse with water. You can use a hose with a spray nozzle to clean off the solution. You can get most parts of the unit wet, but try to avoid spraying the electrical control components. Any stubborn dirt can be scrubbed with a brush. Be careful if you brush the fins, as you do not want to bend them. If any of the fins are bent over, you can use a fin brush to straighten them. You can find one at a hardware store.
- Let the unit dry for an hour or two, then reassemble.
After a good cleaning, your window air conditioner unit should be running good as new, and ready to be stored away for the season. If not, then there may be some other issues that need professional attention, or even replacement. Hopefully, the cleaning will help you extend the life of your air conditioner and avoid spending money on a new one.