Keeping My Power Bills Down

Three Bad Habits That Can Ruin Your Window AC

A window air conditioner can provide an adequate alternative if you don't have central air conditioning. The key to staying cool with a window unit is to maintain it properly. The following are three things that could be ruining your window AC, which could be the reason you aren't cooling down this summer.

#1: Ignoring the filters

Just like a central AC, your window units have air filters. These are typically located in the inside portion of the unit, behind the screen or gridded panel on the front. Some units only have one filter, while other models may have two filters. In most cases, window AC filters are washable so you shouldn't need to replace them. Instead, turn off the unit and unplug it. Remove the filter and carefully brush any lint or dust from it. Then, rinse it with warm water. Finally, allow it to dry completely before replacing it. Do not run the AC until the filter is replaced. In most cases, window AC filters should be cleaned about once monthly during the cooling season.

#2: Not worrying about exposure

When it comes to choosing a window for your AC unit, chances are you mainly considered its location in the room and ignored the exterior exposure. This can lead to poor performance and premature weathering damage. The best place to install a window unit is in a window on the shaded, protected side of the home. Direct sunlight heats the unit, which forces it to work harder to cool the air. In turn, this can cause the blower or compressor to give out prematurely. Exposure to rain and weather can also shorten its lifespan. If you must place it in an exposed window, consider installing an exterior window awning to provide some shade and protection for the unit.

#3: Skipping on winterization

Window units need to be winterized. The best practice is to remove the unit from the window each fall. Rinse the exterior section to remove the dust and dirt of the season. Then, use a fin comb to straighten the slats on the back, which are actually the condenser coils. Finally, store it in a dry indoor space. If you must leave the unit in the window, clean it and straighten the fins, but then wrap it in a tarp or place a window AC cover over the exposed exterior section. This will help keep dirt, moisture, and pests out of the unit throughout the winter months.

For more help in maintaining your window AC, contact an AC contractor in your area. Click to read more about HVAC.