Cleaning The Filter And Coils Of Your Air Conditioner
Clean the filter at least once a month during the cooling season. It will help the unit run more efficiently. Turn off the unit and remove the unit’s front grill to reach the filter, usually held in place by spring clips or hidden tabs along its top edge. Wash a foam or metal filter in soapy water and let it dry. Replace a disposable filter with the same type. While the filter is removed, vacuum the evaporator coil and fins located just behind the filter. At the beginning of each cooling season unplug the unit and with a helper carefully slide the air conditioner out of its casing onto a strong support such as a table. Vacuum the inside of the unit, paying special attention to the condenser oil at the rear. You may have to remove the smaller units from the window before you can remove the casing.
If your air conditioner runs continuosly and you’re still not comfortable, it may be too small for the room or it has lived out of its useful life. Before replacing it make sure that nothing is blocking the front of the unit. Check the louvers are open and properly directed. Seal any gaps around around the air conditioner. Clean or replace the filter, clean the coils. Don’t use an an extension cord longer than recommended and make sure it is heavy-duty three-wire cord, not a lightweight household cord. Block out any direct sunlight and if necessary better insulate the walls.
After the unit has been running for 10 minutes, take off the grill and feel the evaporator coil. Most of the surface should feel cold. If much of the upper evaporator coil is less cold than the bottom part, you may be able to get it back to full cooling output by adding additional refrigerant. Call a certified air conditioning service specialist to see if this can be done for your model. In some areas, exposing certain refrigerants to air is illegal. That means that older units can’t be recharged. If the unit is only is only a few years old and has lost a significant amount of refrigerant then it probably has a leak and should be repaired or replaced. If the unit won’t turn on, first check to see if the circuit breaker is tripped or the fuse is blown. Make sure the cord is plugged in. Unplug and inspect the cord and plug for damage. If it still won’t turn on, call for service.