Maintaining Your Heating and Air Conditioning Units
About Me
Maintaining Your Heating and Air Conditioning Units

Hello. My name is Max. My wife and I have five children who all live at with us in our large two-story house. My wife and two of our kids suffer from severe allergies which means keeping our home as dust-free as possible. I have learned that it’s crucial to keep our heating and air conditioning units properly maintained at all times. We have a fantastic HVAC company that comes out two times a year to perform routine maintenance on our system. They have taught me what I can do on a monthly basis in order to not only help with my family’s health but also keep our system running efficiently. I would like to share some of the tips I’ve been given. I hope you find this to be useful!

Maintaining Your Heating and Air Conditioning Units

AC Maintenance: Protect Your Window Units' Condenser Coils From Damage This Winter

Kristin Pierce

If you have window air conditioning units in your home instead of central air and heat, be sure to protect the units from snow and water damage this winter. Window units are vulnerable to a host of problems if you don't maintenance them properly before placing a covering over them. When the weather warms up in the spring and summer months, moisture can quickly attract insects and mold. You can protect your air conditioners by washing down the condenser coils and straightening out their fins.

Why Clean the Condenser Coils?

Like central air and heat conditioners, your window air conditioning units rely on a special coil called a condenser to remove hot air from them during operation. The coil sits in the back of each unit and have fins over their surfaces. Fins are sharp pieces of aluminum or steel that help the condenser coils breathe during operation. 

Dirt can pack into the fins over the summer and turn to mud if snow melts on them. If mud dries on the coils, the unit won't receive fresh air to operate later. The fins can also bend or warp from the packed mud, which prevents hot air from passing from the condenser coils properly. If the heat builds up inside the coils, the units' compressors break down.

You can protect all of your window air conditioning units with the right cleaning tips.

How Do You Wash Down the Condenser Coils?

You'll need a 32-ounce spray bottle filled with 1/2 warm water and 1/2 vinegar to clean the coils and fins. Here's how you do it:

  1. Unplug the AC units.
  2. Pull the units out of the windows, then set them on a soft canvas padding to protect them from damage.
  3. Remove the back paneling from over each unit, then spray the coils down with the vinegar and water.
  4. Saturate the fins thoroughly so that the mud runs down onto the ground.
  5. Wait 45 minutes for the coils to dry, then put the AC units back into their windows. Return power to the units.

If you notice that the fins appear bent or warped during the cleaning, use a AC fin brush to straighten them out. You can find the brush as a hardware store or home and gardening outlet in your area. The brush features soft bristles that "comb" the fins until they appear straight.

If you can't find the right brush, use a small flathead screwdriver to manually straighten out the fins. But avoid applying pressure to the fins or coils.

If you need additional services for your window AC units, contact air conditioning maintenance services today.