6 Tips to Improve Window Air Conditioner Performance

Window air conditioner

As temperatures rise, you may feel the urge to crank up the air conditioning full blast. We recommend you check your AC before you do.

Just like HVAC units, window air conditioners need regular maintenance to keep performing at their peak. With simple DIY care, you can keep your energy costs down and extend the life of your air conditioner.

Most of the tasks we list below are easy enough to accomplish DIY. However, if you’re all thumbs with tools, or your AC fails to respond to DIY maintenance, it pays to call a professional service like West Coast Chief Repair.

1. Clean the Coils

Coils are responsible for transferring heat, and if they’re clogged with dust and dirt, your air conditioner will have to work harder to cool your home.

To clean the coils, you’ll need to:

  • Turn off the air conditioner.
  • Remove the front panel of the unit.
  • Clean the fins with a soft brush (a vacuum attachment will also work).
  • Wash the coils with a foaming coil cleaner or a solution of water and vinegar.

2. Clean the Filter

A dirty filter can restrict airflow, reducing the efficiency of your air conditioner and increasing your energy bill.

To clean the filter, you’ll need to:

  • Remove the front panel of the unit.
  • Take out the filter and wash it with soap and water.
  • If the filter is damaged, replace it with a new one.

3. Clear Debris from Around the Unit

If your air conditioner is located near trees or other plants, it’s important to clear away any debris that could fall on the unit and block the vents.

  • Remove any leaves, twigs, or other debris from around the unit.
  • Trim back any branches hanging over the unit.

4. Straighten All Fins

The fins help transfer heat. Bent fins are inefficient fins.

To straighten the fins, you’ll need a fin comb (available at most hardware stores).

  • Turn off the air conditioner.
  • Remove the front panel of the unit.
  • Gently comb all the fins in one direction.
  • Apply subtle, slow pressure to avoid damage.

5. Keep It Covered

When your air conditioner is not in use for extended periods (i.e., fall and winter), cover it to protect it from the elements and help it last longer.

You’ll need a tarp or heavy-duty plastic sheet and a pair of scissors.

  • Gather the tarp around the air conditioner to cover it completely.
  • Cut a hole in the tarp for the power cord to pass through.

6. Schedule an Annual Tune-Up

Even if you perform all the above maintenance tasks on your air conditioner, it’s still a good idea to have it professionally serviced once a year. This tune-up will ensure that your air conditioner runs efficiently and prolong its lifespan.

West Coast Chief is a professional repair service specializing in heating, cooling, and appliances. We offer residential and commercial services and can help regardless of the size and brand of your appliance.

Our experienced technicians will be able to quickly diagnose any problems and get your air conditioner up and running again in no time.



FAQs: Improving Window AC Performance

Q: What are common signs that my window AC needs repair?

Indicators include unusual noises, insufficient cooling, or the unit blowing warm air. These signs often point to issues that require professional attention.

Q: How can I reduce the noise from my window air conditioner?

Inspect the unit for loose parts and ensure it’s installed securely. Sometimes, placing a sound-absorbing mat under the unit can also reduce noise.

Q: Why is my window AC unit leaking water inside my home?

This is often due to a clogged drain line or improper installation. Tilt the unit slightly towards the outside for proper drainage.

Q: How often should I clean the coils of my window AC?

Clean the coils at least once a year to maintain optimal performance. This reduces the buildup of dirt and grime that can hinder efficiency.

Q: Can I repair my window AC unit, or should I call a professional?

Minor issues like filter replacement or cleaning can be done DIY. However, for electrical problems or refrigerant leaks, consult a professional.

Q: How do I know if my window AC needs more refrigerant?

Signs include reduced cooling capacity and ice formation on the coils. Refilling refrigerant is a job for the pros.

Q: What should I do if my window AC makes strange noises?

Check for any loose parts or debris inside the unit. If the noise persists, you may need a professional diagnosis and professional repair.

Q: How can I maximize the cooling efficiency of my window AC?

Ensure proper installation, perform regular maintenance like cleaning filters and coils, and use a programmable thermostat or timer if your unit has one.

Q: How long does a typical window AC unit last?

With proper maintenance, a window AC unit can last up to 10 years. Regularly cleaning and servicing can extend its lifespan.

Q: Is it worth repairing an old window AC, or should I replace it?

Consider replacing your AC if it’s over 8 years old or if repair costs exceed half the price of a new unit. Newer models are often more energy-efficient and cost-effective in the long run.

Q: Can a regular household cleaner clean my window AC coils?

It’s best to use a coil cleaner specifically designed for AC units. Harsh chemicals in household cleaners can damage the coils.

Q: How can I be sure my window AC fits securely?

Apply weather stripping around the unit to ensure a snug fit and prevent air leaks. Ensure the window is strong enough to support the unit’s weight and follow the manufacturer’s installation guidelines.