In order to prolong the life of your air conditioner and to ensure its continued and efficient function, it is important for you to take the proper steps to take care of the unit. There are several maintenance tips for window air conditioners that will help you keep your unit functioning properly for many years to come, while also ensuring that it continues to operate at optimal efficiency. Understanding how to maintain your window air conditioner at the beginning and end of each operating season will benefit you and your air conditioning unit in a significant way. photo credit Here are five maintenance tips you should keep in mind for your window air conditioning unit. 1. Cleaning & Replacing the Air Filter Perhaps the most overlooked aspect of air conditioner maintenance relates to the air filter. The filter plays a very important role in your air conditioning unit, and it needs to be either cleaned or replaced on a relatively frequent basis. If the air system becomes impeded due to an air filter past its prime, significant stress may be placed on the entire system. This causes serious inefficiencies in function that should be easily avoided, especially given the fact that changing out an air filter is very simple. Some units have air filters that can be cleaned and reused, while others must simply be replaced. Consult the information provided by the manufacturer to determine which type of air filter your unit uses. If it can be cleaned, check the filter once a month to clean all of the debris from the filter. If it must be replaced, it is generally ideal to replace the filter once every two to three months. Of course, the presence of pollen or allergens will influence the frequency with which you should replace or clean your filter. 2. Inspect & Clean the Coils An untended air filter can also impact the evaporator and condenser coils, so it is even more important to ensure that you clean or replace the air filter on a regular basis. Even if you are diligent in replacing or cleaning your unit’s air filter, you should still inspect both the evaporator and condenser coils for dust and debris at least once per year. In order to prevent any impaired function in the air conditioning unit, these coils can be cleaned on a regular basis by using the brush attachment of a vacuum cleaner. For a more thorough cleaning, the unit can be removed from its casing and set outside for cleaning. The coils should be cleaned using an all-natural cleaner and then be allowed to air-dry. This type of thorough cleaning is ideal for the beginning and end of each season in which the air conditioner is being used. 3. Caring for the Coil Fins The coil fins on an air conditioning unit are often easily bent, and this can have a significant impact on how efficiently the unit is able to function. Fortunately, these coil fins are easily restored through the use of a fin comb. The number of fins per inch should match the fin comb’s teeth count so that the comb can easily and efficiently restore the coil fins, in turn restoring the efficiency of the unit. 4. Preparing the Window Air Conditioner for Use or Storage If you use the window air conditioning unit on a seasonal basis, you should thoroughly inspect every aspect of the unit before and after each season. All of the routine maintenance should be conducted prior to storage and again before the beginning of its seasonal use. The seals should also be inspected to determine if there are any gaps that will allow cool air to leak from the unit. If you do not use the unit seasonally and instead use it throughout the year, you should make sure that you use a protective covering during the winter months to prevent any potential damage that may impair function. The covering you select should not obstruct airflow, and it should attach securely to the unit. 5. Other Possible Maintenance Issues While performing regular and routine maintenance is very important, it will not necessarily guarantee that you will avoid issues with your window air conditioning unit. If you have performed all of these maintenance routines and you are still experiencing issues with the function of your air conditioner, it may be best to refer to a professional. HVAC technicians can look into the issue more thoroughly by using a number of techniques that only a professional should employ. Routine maintenance will certainly help you avoid the need of professional help, but sometimes it is simply necessary to call a professional. More Air Conditioning Articles: Shop for Window Air Conditioners How to Install a Window Air Conditioner How to Buy An Energy Efficient Window Air Conditioner Portable vs. Window Air Conditioning: Which One Is Best For You?