This should be done every month while the unit is being used regularly:
Air conditioners may cool your body, but if you’re not careful they can burn your pocketbook. To make sure your window unit is running at its most efficient, unplug it and open it up for inspection. Immediately inside the air conditioner’s grille, you’ll find a filter, which should be cleaned regularly with soap and water, or replaced if it’s ripped or otherwise damaged. Just behind the filter lie the evaporator fins, which frequently get layered with dust; simply vacuum them off. Now, put the unit back together and go back to “thinking cool thoughts,” legendary pitcher/pundit Satchel Paige’s cure for hot weather.
Courtesy of True Value Hardware
If the unit is very dirty, or has not been serviced for several seasons, it may require a more thorough cleaning.
Remove it from wall sleeve or if smaller unit remove complete a/c unit.If it does not have a sleeve remove all screws to remove outer casing.
Use good duct tape to seal all switches on front of unit. Use plastic to cover fan motor and duct tape plastic into place. Spray evaporator coil and condenser coil with garden hose, and let water drain for a couple minutes. Next spray oven general purpose cleaner on evaporation coil and condenser coil. Let it set for 20 minutes and then rinse it clean. It will be necessary to do the same with the evaporator blower wheel. Keep in mind that the air flow on the condenser may be from blades through the back of the unit, instead of through the condenser towards compressor.
If the fan motor has oil ports, remove the caps after cleaning and place 10 drops of oil into opening, then re-install caps back into position. It is best to blow out all components with compressed air afterwards. Let unit sit for 24 hours to dry before using.
Air Conditioning and Cooling Info for DoItYourselfers
It might surprise you to know that buying a bigger room air conditioning unit won’t necessarily make you feel more comfortable during the hot summer months. In fact, a room air conditioner that’s too big for the area it is supposed to cool will perform less efficiently and less effectively than a smaller, properly sized unit.
This is because room units work better if they run for relatively long periods of time than if they are continually, switching off and on. Longer run times allow air conditioners to maintain a more constant room temperature. Running longer also allows them to remove a larger amount of moisture from the air, which
lowers humidity and, more importantly, makes you feel more comfortable.
Sizing is equally important for central air-conditioning systems, which need to be sized by professionals. If you have a central air system in your home, set the fan to shut off at the same time as the cooling unit (compressor). In other words, don’t use the system’s central fan to provide circulation, but instead use circulating fans in individual rooms.
Whole-house fans help cool your home by pulling cool air through the house and exhausting warm air through the attic. They are effective when operated at night and when the outside air is cooler than the inside.
Set your thermostat as high as comfortably possible in the summer. The less difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures, the lower your overall cooling bill will be. Don’t set your thermostat at a colder setting than normal when you turn on your air conditioner. It will not cool your home any faster and could result in excessive cooling and, therefore, unnecessary expense.
Set the fan speed on high except in very humid weather. When it’s humid, set the fan speed on low. You’ll get better cooling, and slower air movement through the cooling equipment allows it to remove more moisture from the air, resulting in greater comfort.
Consider using an interior fan in conjunction with your window air conditioner to spread the cooled air more effectively through your home without greatly increasing your power use.
Don’t place lamps or TV sets near your air-conditioning thermostat. The thermostat senses heat from these appliances, which can cause the air conditioner to run longer than necessary.
Plant trees or shrubs to shade air-conditioning units but not to block the airflow. A unit operating in the shade uses as much as 10% less electricity than the same one operating in the sun.
Tips for Lowering Your Central Air Conditioner’s Energy Usage
Set your thermostat at 78 F or higher. Each degree setting below 78 F will increase energy consumption by approximately 8%.
Be careful, however, that if you’re A/C is oversized the diminished run-time from raising the thermostat setting may result in too-high indoor humidity in some locations.
Use bath and kitchen fans sparingly when the air conditioner is operating to avoid pulling warm, moist air into your home. Inspect and clean both the indoor and outdoor coils.
he indoor coil in your air conditioner acts as a magnet for dust because it is constantly wetted during the cooling season. Dirt build-up on the indoor coil is the single most common cause of poor efficiency.
The outdoor coil must also be checked periodically for dirt build-up and cleaned if necessary.
Check the refrigerant charge. The circulating fluid in your air conditioner is a special refrigerant gas that is put in when the system is installed. If the system is overcharged or undercharged with refrigerant, it will not work properly. You will need a service contractor to check the fluid and adjust it appropriately.
Reduce the cooling load by using cost-effective conservation measures. For example, effectively shade east and west windows. When possible, delay heat-generating activities, such as cooking and dishwashing, until evening on hot days.
Over most of the cooling season, keep the house closed tight during the day. Don’t let in unwanted heat and humidity. Ventilate at night either naturally or with fans.
Why Buy An Energy Efficient Room Air Conditioner?
High-efficiency room air conditioners save money on your utility bills. High-efficiency room air conditioners result in fewer environmentally harmful emissions. An average air conditioned home consumes more than 2000 kilowatt-hours of electricity per year for cooling, causing about 3,500 pounds of carbon dioxide and 31 pounds of sulfur dioxide to be emitted by the power plant.
At average electricity prices, that costs about $150.
A high-efficiency A/C unit can reduce energy consumption (and environmental emissions) by 20% to 50%. The most efficient air conditioners on the market are up to 70% more efficient than the current average room air conditioner.