Have you ever tried cleaning your window-type air conditioning (AC)? If you haven’t, it is high time that you start learning and save as much as $1,200 annually doing it yourself. If you don’t clean your air conditioning, you might be in for a substantial air conditioning repair job!
The Right Time To Clean
Before we get started on getting our hands dirty, we need to be aware of how often we should clean our AC. And, how often depends on whether the AC is new or not and what part of the world you reside. In the US, you should clean and prepare your AC before the beginning of each season so that would be at least once every quarter which is usually the manufacturer’s advice for the first year of newly-bought AC.
On its second year onwards, ideally you should clean your AC once a month but if the air has more than the usual amount of crud in it, then you better clean more often. What you’re looking for is not to let the filter get dirty enough that it reduces your cooling. And remember, just because you will not be using your AC during winter does not mean you can leave it unclean until such time that you need to use it again. Keeping your AC clean will make it last longer and run more efficiently.
The Right Kind of Tools and Materials
Cleaning our own AC doesn’t require buying of new supplies and materials as most of the stuff we need would already be available in our household.
For the tools, we would need:
- 4-in-1 screwdriver
- Shop vacuum (or just any vacuum used at home)
As for the materials, we require:
- Household cleaner
- Electric motor oil
- A/C coil cleaner (If you have big window-type AC, you might need two cans)
Normally, all three needed tools and first two materials are already available in our household so we only have to purchase an A/C coil cleaner and what we should look for is a brand with AC-Safe No. AC-920.
The Right Cleaning Procedure
Before we discuss the cleaning steps, let’s study the diagram below to help us know the parts of the AC for proper guidance.
Now that we are aware of the parts let’s get on with the cleaning.
Step 1: Remove the plastic filter panel.
Step 2: Slide the AC out of the wall. The AC could be heavy so get help.
Step 3: Remove the case and mounting frame. Typically, the case screws are placed along the bottom edge, and since they have to go back in the same spot upon reassembly, you might want to keep a mental note of the location of any odd-length screws.
Step 4: Straighten any bent cooling fins with a fin comb. You may use any Frigidaire fin comb kit. It’s cheap and fits most brands of ACs.
Step 5: Vacuum all noticeable buildup from both coils and spray cleaner as needed.
Step 6: Using a rag and household cleaner, clean the fan blades thoroughly.
Step 7: If the fan motor has rubber or plastic-capped oiling ports, squeeze in a few drops of electric motor oil.
Step 8: Wash the air filter and re-install the unit.