Whether you live in a large house, or in a small loft apartment, chances are you have some type of an air conditioning unit. In fact, these items are so common, it wouldn't too much of a stretch to say that they are practically necessities. Since it is so common to see these items all over the place, it only makes sense to learn some proper air conditioner cleaning. One of the most easily cleaned, and easy to use, types of air conditioners that are simply stuck in the window. As such, these are the types of units that will be discussed here.
- Simple maintenance. Dirt and dust are the biggest enemies of window air conditioners. It not only lower the efficiency of the evaporator coil, it also block the operation of the fan that blows out the air. It clog filters, and block drain ports too. As the coils, compressor and motor of a room air conditioner are sealed components, leave them to be attended to by a professional service person
- Professional maintenance. As you can imagine, air conditioning systems are fairly complex pieces of equipment, and as such they need to be maintained carefully. This means that at a minimum, yearly service needs to be performed by a professional. The system should be professionally inspected at the start of each new season to ensure proper functioning. Keep in mind that an air conditioner, just like a car, needs to have a professional's touch from time to time.
- Use caution. Before doing any work on an air conditioner, unplug it first. When the power to the unit is turned off there is still electricity in the capacitors. They need to be discharged to prevent electrical shocks when you start working on the system. Always read the unit's owner's manual to see where to find the capacitors and how to discharge them.
- The filter. Remove the front grille and clean or replace the filter. In very dusty areas , the filter should be cleaned more often. Some air conditioners have a washable filter that looks like sponge rubber which can be washed and replaced. Make sure the filter is dry before replacing it.
- Power cord - The power cord that connects the air conditioner to the wall outlet may become worn and fail to supply electricity to the unit. A warned cord can even cause a fire if the open wire comes in contact with another open wire and cause a short.
- Evaporator and condenser coils - Clean the evaporator and condenser coils at the beginning of a new season and then monthly or as often as necessary. Use a vacuum cleaner to thoroughly clean out any dust or other debris. The fins on the coils may become bent. straighten them carefully with a fin comb designed to slide into the spaces between the fins.
Always be sure to follow the instructions in the air conditioners manual if you need to replace the thermostat or call an expert to do it for you. Also keep in mind that if you see water leaking through the bottom of the grille system, it is time to clean the drain ports. If, at any time, you feel uncomfortable doing any of the work yourself call a professional to come and help you.
Hettie lives in Mokopane, South Africa. She writes articles for a country-wide monthly newspaper, The Vessel. She self-published a devotional book in 1993 and writes a regular column, Hettie's Chatterbox, for the S.A. Neuromuscular Foundation. Learn more about Hettie...
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