Monday, May 16, 2011
Troubleshooting Your Window Air-Conditioner
Window Mount Conditioners
If you use a window-mounted air-conditioner to keep your home cool, you know how powerful these little devices can be. Like a central AC system, a window air-conditioner has both indoor and outdoor components and when something goes wrong it can be difficult to determine where the problem lies.
Understanding Your Air-Conditioner
Inside the room you will find the evaporator coil, the part of the AC that gets cold, along with the fan or blower, the thermostat and controls, the filter and a plastic face panel.
Between the interior and exterior components is a panel that helps seal the unit in the window, preventing cool air from escaping and warm air from seeping in. This panel is usually expandable, so it is easy to customize the device to fit into your window, no matter what its size.
On the outside, you will find the air-conditioner’s compressor, the condenser and the fan that blows air across the condensing coil in order to cool it. Any moisture that collects inside the unit drains along the bottom and into a metal basin, which then drips to the outside of the house, through a hole or drain tube.
Now that you know the basics, it is time to take a look at some common in-room air-conditioner problems.
Water Dripping From the Front Panel
If you notice excess condensation or water dripping from the front of your air-conditioner, it almost always means that the drain pan is tilted incorrectly. Instead of guiding water toward the back of the unit and out of your home, the basin is allowing condensation to drain into the room.
Fortunately, correcting this problem is pretty simple. You just have to adjust the drain basin so that it tilts to the back of the unit and downward.
The Unit Cycles on and off Too Frequently
This generally indicates a problem with the unit’s thermostat or temperature sensor. Possible solutions include checking that the temperature sensor is positioned properly; near but not touching the evaporator coil. Move drapes and curtains away from the front panel. Remove leaves, branches and yard debris away from the exterior condenser. If none of these suggestions resolves the problem, call in a professional to service your AC unit, checking for refrigerant leaks and damaged components
Air-Conditioner Will Not Turn On
You could have a blown fuse, it could be a popped circuit breaker or the unit could be unplugged.
Obviously, you first want to make sure the air-conditioner is plugged in properly. If this fails to solve the problem you may have to replace the blown fuse or reset the breaker that connects to your AC’s power source.
Unit Keeps Blowing Fuses
If your AC is constantly popping the circuit breaker or blowing out fuses it usually means that it is hooked up to an inadequate power source.
Most residential window units require at least 120 volts of electricity operating off a 15amp circuit. You will need more power if your AC is larger. Run the air-conditioner from its own dedicated circuit; at least 20 amps, in order to correct the problem.
Related Air Conditioning Information from Horizon Services...