Maintenance Tips: Window A/C Unit & Energy Efficiency
Creating a maintenance plan for any window A/C unit is an important first step in optimizing your comfort, while making sure each appliance is functioning with the best energy efficiency possible. Window air conditioners work like central air conditioners, except they are smaller and usually more expensive to operate. Depending on the size of a unit, a window A/C unit may cool one room or multiple rooms.
Remember, you want to stay cool in the heat of the day, but you want any cooling unit you use to be a miser about the electricity it demands.
The Window A/C Basics
Located between the coils are a compressor, two fans, a motor, and thermostat controls. Dirt is the biggest problem for window air conditioners; it can lower the efficiency of the evaporator coil, block the operation of the fan that blows out the cool air, clog filters, and block drain ports. This video from MrJustDIY will prove to be very helpful.
The coils, the compressor, and the motor of a room air conditioner are sealed components, so any repairs to them should be left to a professional service person. You can make minor repairs and regular maintenance will keep your unit running well. When extensive repairs are needed, you can also save the cost of a service call by removing the air conditioner from its mounting and taking it to the technician’s shop.
During the winter, room air conditioners should be protected from the elements. Either remove the unit from its mounting and store it or cover the outside portion of the unit with a commercial room air conditioner cover or with heavy plastic sheeting, held in place with duct tape.
The Window A/C Unit Maintenance Checklist
- Unplug power connections and tighten all electrical connections. Faulty electrical connections can cause unsafe operation of your system and reduce the life of major components.
- If the manufacturer’s maintenance list is available, carefully read it.
- Lubricate all moving parts. Parts that lack lubrication cause friction in motors and increase the amount of electricity you use.
- Clean evaporator and condenser air conditioning coils. Dirty coils reduce the appliance’s ability to cool your home and cause the system to run longer, increasing energy costs and reducing the life of the equipment.
- Clean and adjust blower components to provide proper system airflow for greater comfort levels. Airflow problems can reduce your system’s efficiency by up to 15 percent.
- Inspect, clean, or change air filters. A dirty filter can increase energy costs and damage your equipment, leading to early failure.
Tools/supplies you will need for the work ahead
- Phillips and slot-head screwdrivers
- Small wrench set (check manufacturer information to determine if metric wrenches are required.
- Disposable rags
- WD40 lubricant
- Water connection and hose
- Coil cleaner
When all is said and done, enjoy keeping a “cool head” about yourself!
Images via LG, How Stuff Works, MrJustDIY