How to Clean your Air Conditioner like a Pro

Written by Donald Grummett

February 2, 2005

Jack Frost is nipping at our nose and Santa Claus has just left. The eastern seaboard has just received their third blizzard for a total of over 125 cm (56 inches) of snow in one week. So, who in their right mind would be thinking about window air conditioners at this time of year?

Call me crazy, but I am.

It is a good time of year to start this project. Firstly, it keeps ones mind sharp forrepparttar coming spring. Plus, it allows you to try out those new tools you got for Christmas. Mainly though, it is a good winter project because byrepparttar 100036 time spring arrives you will be too busy to think about this job.

Very little is required to clean a window air conditioner, except lots of patience. If patience is something you lack then it is a job you should turn over torepparttar 100037 local appliance serviceman.

Tools ---------------------- ·Tin can or container (old muffin tin works well also) ·Vacuum cleaner ·Long handled brush (an old toilet brush works well) ·Oil can ·Rags ·De-greaser or spray detergent ·Selection of screwdrivers (Philips, Flat bladed, 1/4" socket head) ·Fin tool (optional) ·New filter (if disposable type)

Lets get started -----------

1. Start by removingrepparttar 100038 filter fromrepparttar 100039 front grille. If it is hidden behindrepparttar 100040 grille proceed to step 2. If it is a disposable filter simply replace it with a new one. Other types are made in a plastic frame and can be cleaned and reused. To clean a filter lay it flat inrepparttar 100041 sink and sprinkle surface with powder laundry detergent. Then cover with about one inch of hot water. Just enough sorepparttar 100042 filter is submerged. Soak for 15 minutes. Remove from water and rinse with warm water. Hang up to dry while proceeding to next step.

2. Next, removerepparttar 100043 front grille fromrepparttar 100044 main body ofrepparttar 100045 air conditioner. They usually pivot on two spring clips atrepparttar 100046 bottom. It is usually removed by pullingrepparttar 100047 grille gently forward while pushing it down atrepparttar 100048 same time. If there is resistance then look for hidden screws. Look nearrepparttar 100049 top edge ofrepparttar 100050 grille or behindrepparttar 100051 control knob door. Once removed placerepparttar 100052 grille aside until later.

3. Carefully remove metal cover of air conditioner to expose inner workings. Once allrepparttar 100053 screws are removed liftrepparttar 100054 cover straight up. Do not let it hitrepparttar 100055 other parts as it can have sharp edges. This is whererepparttar 100056 old can comes in handy (ice cube container or muffin tin works well also). Use it to keep track of allrepparttar 100057 screws you will be removing. An air conditioner will often use a number of different types and sizes of screws. Segregate them from each other or confusion will result when we start reassembly.

4. Checkrepparttar 100058 fan motor for any oil holes or oil plugs. Ifrepparttar 100059 motor has oil plugs they are usually rubber. Use caution when removing becauserepparttar 100060 rubber may have become brittle. Often they will break off inrepparttar 100061 oil holes resulting in a blockage. If this occurs try to removerepparttar 100062 broken plug by using a pin ofrepparttar 100063 tip of a small screwdriver. Oncerepparttar 100064 fan motor oil holes are exposed add a few drops of oil to each end ofrepparttar 100065 motor body. Use a general purpose (3in1) oil or clean motor oil. A #30 oil is sufficient. The natural tendency is to over-oil. Too much lubrication is as bad as not enough. Therefore only 3 or 4 drops on both ends ofrepparttar 100066 motor body is sufficient. Addrepparttar 100067 oil slowly, pausing a few seconds between each drop. If you add it too quickly over-lubrication will result.

5. Userepparttar 100068 brush to remove surface dust and dirt fromrepparttar 100069 evaporator (front fins). Use an up and down motion. Do not go side to side or allowrepparttar 100070 fins to be bent. The fins are very soft aluminum and can be damaged easily. Once surface dirt is removed, spray with de-greaser or cleaner. There is a good product onrepparttar 100071 market called HVAC cleaner. Asrepparttar 100072 name implies it is meant for Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioner coil cleaning. If this is not availablerepparttar 100073 Fantastic Spray cleaner used in kitchens and bathrooms works quite well. Let stand about 15 minutes or as per instructions on de-greaser can. This will allow cleaner to loosen any hidden dirt. Remove dirt and excess cleaner by slowly pouring warm water into fins. Do not allowrepparttar 100074 water to enter any electrical connections or components that may be nearrepparttar 100075 coil. As an added precaution coverrepparttar 100076 motor with one ofrepparttar 100077 cloth rags. to protect it fromrepparttar 100078 water. Do not use any form of high pressure air or water because this can drive dirt farther into fins. Also, use extreme caution as these coils are filled with high pressure refrigerant.


Written by John Rocco

Whenever i write an article, it's usually tailored torepparttar do it yourself homeowner to help them save some money onrepparttar 100035 high cost of labor these days. This article is forrepparttar 100036 "not so handy" homeowner who wants to have new vinyl windows installed in their home. So, where do you begin? Well,repparttar 100037 first step is to get estimates. You should always get 3 estimates. Keep in mind thatrepparttar 100038 price you are quoted doesn't necessarily reflectrepparttar 100039 quality ofrepparttar 100040 product. For example, I used to wearrepparttar 100041 hat of Owner, Salesman, and Installer. So, when I would give an estimate, my only markup would be to pay my salary. Onrepparttar 100042 other extreme, some companies have an inside sales staff who do telemarketing as well as mail solicitation. These people set up in-home estimates. Then, there is an outside sales staff who visitrepparttar 100043 customer for an in-home estimate. Ifrepparttar 100044 customer signs a contract, there is another employee who measures your windows. Then,repparttar 100045 installation crew comes out and actually installs your windows. In many cases, you never even see or talk torepparttar 100046 owner. Now, imagine if this company, let's call them shears, was sellingrepparttar 100047 exact same window that I was selling. After you got both estimates, you might be inclined to think that my product must be inferior if I'm able to sell it so much cheaper. The reality is, it's cheaper because I pay two salaries; my salary and my other installer's salary. The other owner has to pay his own salary plus Inside sales, outside sales, field measurer, and installation crew. So, as you get each estimate, here arerepparttar 100048 important things to know about that particular brand: What kind of warranty do they offer? Any reputable vinyl window manufacturer should offer a lifetime warranty because any quality vinyl window and door really is made to last a lifetime. Ask how longrepparttar 100049 MANUFACTURER has been making vinyl windows. A lifetime warranty is meaningless ifrepparttar 100050 manufacturer goes out of business. Once you're confident thatrepparttar 100051 manufacturer is well established, find out how longrepparttar 100052 installer has been replacing windows. Make sure they are licensed and insured. Being licensed and insured doesn't necessarily mean they're good, but it does give them accountability. I knew an unlicensed window installer who was as good as any licensed installer, but if he were to mess up a job,repparttar 100053 customer had no recourse against him. Once you are satisfied withrepparttar 100054 price, manufacturer, and installer, you can determinerepparttar 100055 level of quality ofrepparttar 100056 actual product. You can get all hung up on specs such as U-Value, R-Value, Air infiltration, etc. But, I believe you can actually get more confused if you start trying to compare all of those numbers. Just ask ifrepparttar 100057 product is an energy star rated window. Ifrepparttar 100058 answer is yes, then you knowrepparttar 100059 specs meetrepparttar 100060 highest government standards. You can confirm this by going torepparttar 100061 Energy

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