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Maintenance Tips for Window and Portable AC Units

Got an A/C unit? Here's a tip. Use these ideas to keep it running great

Maintenance tips for window and portable A/C/ units

Keep your A/C in good condition with these tips

When the heat rises and it's time to finally install that window AC or portable AC unit, that means it's also time to start thinking about proper AC maintenance.

As tempting as it is to just install your AC and forget about it, the fact of the matter is that you've got to properly maintain your AC while it's in use and when installing/uninstalling it if you want it to keep you cool as the temperature rises.

What does proper AC maintenance actually mean, though? Well, it means ensuring that your AC is not only clean but that you've installed it in such a way that ensures it's working optimally. It also means taking care of your AC even when you're not using it or it's time to finally put it away when cooler weather comes.

It may sound daunting, but by following these simple AC maintenance tips, you can make sure your appliance keeps you cool for years to come.

Replace/Clean Your Filters

The filter on your AC is a lot like your own lungs. When they're healthy, they keep you going for hours and help ensure that the rest of you is running cleanly. When they're not, they can cause catastrophic breakdowns.

At the very least, you should clean the filter that comes with your air conditioner once every other week or even once a week. If you don't have a washable filter, then you may want to consider just replacing your filter semi-regularly (about once a month depending on use).

You should also keep in mind that there are certain filters out there (such as Silver Ion Filters) which can reduce the allergens in a room. The bottom line is that you should never just let the filter that came with your AC just sit there for extended periods of time.

Be Sure to Clean the Exterior

You might know that you should clean and replace your AC filter, but how often do you clean your AC's exterior?

It may not seem as important as cleaning the filter, but a build-up of exterior dust and other harmful substances can eventually work its way into the unit itself, causing all kinds of functionality problems.

Fortunately, cleaning the exterior of a portable or window AC is simple. There's some debate on the best method, but most sources agree that you can't go wrong with scrubbing it with a damp cloth. You could use soap or chemical cleaners, but you do run the risk of causing some kind of build-up in the AC unit itself.

Clean Your AC Thoroughly Before Removing/Installing it

You might think that you only really need to worry about cleaning your AC while it's in use, but that's simply not true. You also need to ensure that it's clean while it's not being used.

The process of cleaning your AC will vary based on the make and model, but generally speaking, you'll want to drain your unit of water, disassemble it as much as possible, clean every component you can (preferably without chemicals), then run the unit on fan mode to help dry out the interior.

Make sure that your unit is as dry as possible before you store it so that you avoid mildew and any excess water leaking into where it's not supposed to.

Store Your Unit Properly

Portable and window ACs can be big, heavy, and tough to store. As such, many people just tend to store them wherever they fit and not think about them until the next heatwave.

Don't be one of those people. Properly storying your AC is one of the keys to ensuring that it remains in top condition for months and years to come. Improperly storing it is a great way to ensure that it won't be working quite as it should the next time that you need it.

Along with cleaning your air conditioner, be sure to put it back into its original box when you store it in order to prevent excess dirt and grime from building up. If the original box isn't available, you can also put it in a secure bag or equivalent solution.

Make Sure Your Unit is Properly Ventilated

Proper ventilation matters most when you're trying to maintain a portable AC, but in the case of window and portable ACs, you do want to make sure they are in the optimal position in order to get the most out of them and properly maintain them.

For most people, a simple window installation for your AC unit will be enough to ensure that it works properly. However, your windows may not be in an ideal position to ensure your AC will reach as much space as it should be. In those instances, you'll want to run a ventilation hose through a wall or somewhere else where it will do the most good.

Also, be mindful of where you place your window ACs. If your AC isn't secure and you're left with a lot of open space on either side of the unit, you're just asking for excess water build-up and other problems that can hinder your unit's production over time.

Resources—Allergy and Air, Brick Underground, Time, Home Air Guides