How to Maintain a Window Air Conditioner

Those who own older homes, or live in parts of the country that don't require central heating, often depend on window air conditioning units to keep them cool on the hottest days of summer. For some, these units offer the only shelter from punishing heat that can be life threatening. A little bit of care and maintenance can go a long way toward ensuring that this important appliance doesn't break down when you need it most.

Clean air filter | once a month while in use
The air filter is the most important part of your cooling system. If it becomes clogged, then your system will have to work harder and longer to supply the same amount of cool air.

1. Turn off the air conditioner.
2. Remove the foam air filter from the unit.
3. Wash any dirt from the filter with water and let it dry completely.
4. Replace the filter.

Clean exterior fins | once a year
Exterior fins are responsible for dissipating heat. Dirty fins cannot perform their job as effectively, wasting electricity and money.

1. Turn off the air conditioner.
2. Use a garden hose or a bucket of water and a soft brush and remove any dirt or debris on the exterior fins.
3. Be careful not to bend the fins, but if you find bent fins they can be straightened with a fin comb available from refrigeration supply dealers.