Remember that whether your home is old or new, window air conditioners should be serviced every few years to ensure they are working properly. If your air conditioner is not running efficiently, it could mean the difference between life and death for your home. That is why it is imperative to clean your unit to extend its life and efficiency properly. Keep in mind that this article only focuses on window air conditioners. If you also have a centralized air conditioning unit, look out for some suggestions on how to clean them as well.
When cleaning your window air conditioner unit, you need to first understand the type of filter you have. There are three different types: pleated, paper, and multi-filter. The first one, paper, is the easiest to remove and also the easiest to replace.
The easiest way to remove a paper window air conditioner filter, which is located in the back by the side of the cooling unit, is to cut it off with a pair of scissors. It will allow you to easily access the filter and easy to remove it for cleaning. However, you need to make sure that you cut it off before you start to work. You want to avoid cutting yourself while removing it because the spores are very small, even though they are in a container full of water. If any spores are left over after cutting off the filter, they can easily be breathed in and potentially cause illness.
Another way to clean a window air conditioner without removing the filter is to spray a disinfectant cleaner on the entire area, from the front to the back. It will typically take care of bacteria and mould growth, but it will not remove the actual filter. It is important because you only treat the immediate area where the bacteria or mould grew without removing the filter. You are defeating the purpose of using the air purifier in the first place by allowing the moisture in the air to get inside the home.
If your window air conditioner is not too old, it may be possible to clean without removing the filter. Many newer units have motors built right into them, so all you need to do is pull it out and spray the motorized part with the disinfectant used to clean the dirt and debris from the motor. When using the same type of cleaner on the fan, the dirty air inside the house can be released through the vent ducts and then into the unit.
A window air conditioner that needs to be removed is usually attached to the unit by a hose or duct tape. Removing it without the aid of tools can cause damage to the unit and the hoses. Also, removing the unit will make it very hard to clean since you need to remove all parts to see which part needs to be replaced. If the motor is still operable, you can take it apart and look for the parts that need to be replaced. Doing this before you replace the unit will save you time and money when it comes time to replace it.