Chippewa Falls, WI

Residents of Chippewa Falls Are Encouraged to Clean Their Window Air Conditioning Units

Walter Rhein
Image by Walter Rhein

The sweltering heat of the last few days has had air conditioning units working overtime in the Chippewa Valley. Popular window units are a convenient way to cool down a room. You simply open a window, place the unit on the ledge, close the window down to the top of the unit, plug it in, and turn it on. But did you ever wonder how often these units are cleaned and serviced?

Residents often remove these window units in the fall to winterize and place them in storage. But air conditioning units create a certain amount of condensation as part of their normal operation. Any place you have water, you eventually start to have mold. If you’re concerned about your health, the last thing you want is a window air conditioning unit blasting particles of mold all over your room.

In addition to water, the exterior vents on many air conditioning units are large enough to let in leaves and other debris. These can gather in the crate and lead to further problems. Chances are, if you have mold or debris clogging up your air flow you’ll have more problems than poor air quality. A clogged unit will also fail to cool your room.

Like anything else in your home, a window air conditioning unit requires basic maintenance in order to function properly. That includes removing contaminates and sanitizing the unit.

The process of cleaning out an air conditioning unit only takes a couple hours. All air conditioning units have similar features. Remove the air conditioner from the window and take it outside. Also, do not work on an air conditioner or any other appliance unless it has been unplugged.

Generally you start by removing the unit’s face plate. The face plate is usually held in place by a combination of tabs and screws. Be mindful of the wiring for the unit’s controls.

Once the face plate is removed, you will have to remove the crate. You can remove the crate by removing the screws that run around the side of the units. Keep track of all the screws and label them if they are different sizes.

Once the crate is off, you have to be mindful of the fan shroud. The fan shroud is likely made out of Styrofoam and if you lean on it, or set an electrical drill on it, it will crumble into pieces.

Also be mindful of the condenser fins. The front and back of the unit is covered in flexible pieces of metal that can be pushed flat causing a blockage to air flow. You can straighten these fins with a condenser comb.

When you are cleaning your air conditioning unit, you should limit yourself to wiping away mold and removing debris. Do not make adjustments to the evaporator, condenser, compressor or expansion valve. If your air conditioning unit requires more than basic cleaning, you should seek the services of a certified HVAC technician.

With the crate removed, you should be able to carefully reach in and remove debris. Once you have moved the large pieces of debris, you can wipe down the rest of the unit with Hydrogen Peroxide to kill the mold. You can also rinse off the unit with water.

Maintaining your air conditioning unit will improve the functioning of the unit and the quality of air in your home. There are a wide variety of videos available online to walk you through the process, and a number of businesses in the Chippewa Valley that specialize in air conditioning repair.

Comments / 0

Published by

Walter Rhein is an author with Perseid Press. He also does a weekly column for The Writing Cooperative on Medium.

Chippewa Falls, WI

More from Walter Rhein

Comments / 0