Window air conditioning is a cost-effective, efficient way to cool your home when you don't want to install a central air system. If you're using window air conditioning and struggling with problems such as moisture in the system or water leaks, there are a few things you can do to improve the way your air conditioner works.
Make Sure The Air Conditioner Is Installed Correctly
One of the biggest problems with window-mounted air conditioning systems is improper installation. If the air conditioner isn't balanced correctly, the condensation in the system won't drain correctly. The air conditioner should be mounted so that it is pitched slightly toward your home's exterior. This encourages condensation to run off away from the coils. If you are seeing water drip from the front of the air conditioner, this is most likely the cause. Add a small shim to tip the air conditioner gently toward the outside of the house to fix this problem.
Make Sure The Filter Is Clean
Even window-mounted air conditioners are typically equipped with air filters to keep dust, debris and other contaminants away from the condenser coils. If your air conditioner's filters are dirty, they'll get clogged and may not permit air flow through the system. When the air conditioner doesn't get enough air, it can cause the system to condensate inside, which leads to leaks and insufficient cooling. Pull the filters out regularly and inspect them. If they're dirty, you'll need to clean or replace them. If it's a reusable filter, just rinse it under cold water, dry it and put it back in place. Make sure it's dry so that you don't introduce any added moisture to the inside of the system.
Check for Gaps Around The Unit
When you put the air conditioner in the window, it needs to be free of any gaps around the edges. Otherwise, you'll end up with warm air seeping in around the unit from outside. This causes condensation to form on the outside of the case, which will cause water drips inside the house. You can prevent this problem by covering the area where the air conditioner sits in the window with pieces of foam insulation.
Keep The Coils Clean
When the air filter gets clogged or dirty, you might find that the coils end up dirty as well. This often happens when particles move beyond the filter. Unplug the air conditioner periodically to clean the coils. Remove the front cover, then remove the filter. Wipe down the coils with a lint-free cloth that you've dampened with soapy water. Clean the filter before you replace it. Once everything is back in place, reassemble the unit and turn it back on.
Maintain The Condensate Drain
Every window air conditioner has a drain line that runs to a condensate drain pan. This is essential, because it provides an outlet for the moisture that drips from the coils. Inspect the lines and drain pan regularly to keep the assembly emptied and clean. Wipe the pan out with a damp cloth regularly, and spray it with a vinegar solution regularly to keep bacteria at bay. You should even wipe down the drain line and check it for any signs of clogs. Remember that it stays damp more than it doesn't, so you'll want to be sure that you keep it as clean as possible.
Air conditioners require careful attention to keep them working at their best. If you overlook the routine details of keeping your window air conditioner clean and properly installed, you're likely to experience problems. If you need more help, an HVAC specialist from a company like Glendale Heating & Air Conditioning or an air conditioning repair technician can help you.