A window air conditioning unit is designed to have majority of the unit outside of a home because the compressor can be really loud. Because of this design, the appliance will get a lot of exposure to outside elements. Knowing this, you should give your window unit a yearly clean up to make sure it works properly. If you live in a cold climate, you should remove the unit and store in a safe place. If you plan on leaving your window unit in all winter, make sure you cover with waterproof material to protect it from damage. Here are tips for maintaining your window unit each year.
Step 1.) Remove the unit from your window. Unplug the power cord, loosen the side panels and carefully lift the window and prop up with shim. Window units are heavier in the back and will want to fall outside when you lift the window and take pressure off the top. It is always good to have someone help you hold the unit while you lift the window. Remove the unit from the inside and carry it to a place you can work on it.
Step 2.) Remove the filter (usually located on the top front side) and clean it with soap and water. Rinse it thoroughly with clean water and let it dry. If the filter is damaged you will need to buy a replacement at a local home improvement store or from the manufacturer’s website. Take your vacuum and suck up any debris inside the area where your filter sits.
Step 3.) Remove the air conditioner outer cabinet housing by unscrewing the screws that hold it in place. Thoroughly wash the inside and outside of the cabinet and remove any debris that may be in there.
Step 4.) Remove all dust and debris that is sitting inside of your unit. Take your time as there are many small areas that will need to be cleaned out. Sometimes you can flip the unit upside down once its taken apart and let gravity do some of the work.
Step 5.) Once debris is fully removed, wash the inside surfaces and non-electrical parts with warm soapy water. You can use an old paintbrush for this. Make sure no to get any electrical pieces wet during this step.
Step 6.) Once you have applied the soapy water, cover any electrical components and spray entire unit with a garden hose. Move unit around to shake out any standing water, remove the plastic over electrical and let sit for at least a day to thoroughly dry out.
Step 7.) Make sure all evaporator fins are straight and parallel to the other fins before you reassemble. If they are bent, this will prevent the ac unit from working as efficiently as it can. You can purchase an inexpensive fin comb from a home improvement store.
Step 8.) If you have a place you can store your window unit, cover in plastic and leave in a safe place. If you do not and need to store back in the window, cover with a waterproof material. When storing for the winter, make sure all vents are closed and all openings around the unit are tightly sealed.