Three Steps To Using Your Window Air Conditioner
Whether you live in an area of the country where air conditioning is a year-long requirement or only need it for a few months in the summertime, there are some basic operating standards for window units everyone should know.
The Filter Needs To Be Regularly Changed
The filter on a window unit room air conditioner doesn't take long to get dirty at all. The filter generally needs to be changed once a month. You may even need to clean it more often than that if it is running 24 hours a day or if you have pets. The filter prevents hair and dust from building up on the compressor coils and working parts of your air conditioner. Once the filter is "full," it can no longer perform this task, and your air conditioner will need to work much harder to cool the room effectively. The grime will also make a mechanical breakdown more likely.
A Window Unit Needs To Be Placed In The Right Spot
You may be tempted to think that you should put your air conditioner in the warmest room in the house, but that isn't always the best use of energy. First, determine why the room is warm. Does it have southern exposure with lots of windows? Sometimes, using room-darkening shades is the best option for a sunny room and the air conditioner would work best in an adjacent room instead. You can also use a fan to help direct the air flow.
Use Weather Sealer
Many window air conditioning units have an accordion-like flange on each side of the unit. This is meant to bridge the gap in a window that is wider than the unit itself. The accordion is stretched to each side of the woodwork and screwed in place. While this will help to hold the unit in place, it will not form an airtight seal, and leaking air around it means your air conditioner will be inefficient. These accordion flaps can also become cracked, so be sure to buy a replacement from the hardware store.
You can buy several different products that will help seal out any air, such as foam and sealing tape. If the air conditioning unit is on the first floor, you can also seal it from the outside as well. Unless you leave the window unit in year-round, do not use spray foam, as it is very hard to remove once installed.
Oftentimes, many people think a heating, ventilation, and air conditioning professional won't work on window unit air conditioners, but that isn't usually the case. If you have any issues or would like to have a maintenance checkup before the cooling season begins, be sure to contact a professional service, such as HELP Plumbing, Heating, Cooling and Electric.