Ensuring A Window A/C Drains Properly

When the refrigerant in your window air conditioner travels through the evaporator coils, the result is condensation on the outside of the coils. More modern units are designed to make use of this condensation by flinging it across the system’s condenser (outdoor coils), making the unit even more efficient. However, some units simply drain the fluid continuously. To make sure that your window air conditioner drains properly, you should use the following steps.

Step 1. Unplug the air conditioner and make sure that it is stable while you are working on it. The best way to do this is to have an assistant steadying the unit for you. This assistant can also help you remove the air conditioner from the window if you need to.

Step 2. Examine the unit to see if it’s properly slanted toward the outside. For for a window air conditioner to drain correctly, the back of the unit should be roughly an inch lower than its front. If you have difficulty determining this, use a carpenter’s level to gauge the angle.

Step 3. If necessary, reposition the unit so that the rear is low enough for good drainage. You may have to remove and reposition any braces supporting the air conditioning unit in order to drop it enough.

Step 4. Locate the drain hole at the bottom of the unit. On units that drain constantly, this hole is usually just below the exterior part of the unit. It may be quite small. More modern units that retain the water for use on the condenser coils may have a small hole on the side instead.

Step 5. Inspect the drain hole to see if it’s clogged. If it seems to be clogged, you can use a long thin wire or a cleaner for a baby bottle nipple to poke around in the hole to clear it. Do this as though you’re brushing teeth. This is usually enough to get the water draining again.

Step 6. If step 5 doesn’t work, remove the unit from the window and then take off the outer housing. Place the unit on a clean, stable surface outside. Tilt the air conditioning system slightly to keep water away from electrical components. Cover the fan motor and switches with a thick cloth.

Step 7. Carefully spray inside the unit, using a garden hose set to low-pressure. Your goal is to remove any dirt and debris. Remove the base pan (also known as a drip tray) and clean it out as well.

Step 8. Allow the unit to completely dry. Then put the housing back on the unit and replace it in the window. Plug the unit back in and turn it on to test it.

Author: Kim Wilkerson

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