How to clean a window air conditioner Murphy Style
Although Bill Murphy may have never really been a full time service mechanic he did have a lot of strong qualities that helped him in his business. He solved problems for people or business in the area that may have been troublesome for a really long time.
One of his strong points that he passed onto me and others was that an air conditioning system should be clean inside and out. I have made a put a lot of food in my refrigerator in my life cleaning air conditioners and refrigeration systems. It has been the back bone of my career and a thorn in the sides of previous bosses that would not clean customers air conditioners in order to convince them they needed a new unit.
The first thing I learned was:
how to clean window air conditioners.
My father had a shop right on the corner of Drake ave new Rochelle NY in the building we lived in. He had a garden hose connected directly to the buildings hot water line. How he got away with this still makes me chuckle.
Here is what we would do step by step.
1: Remove the grill then remove the outer sleeve or cover of the air conditioner. Either by removing all the screws or by pulling it out from it’s sleeve.
2: Inspect the unit and remove anything large or unusual. Carefully remove the screws that hold the rear condenser coil in place. it’s been there for a while and connected by copper so it’s not going to fly off. if your worried skip this step. Once you have the screws out carefully lift the coil away from the fan schroad moving at an angle with the tubing never kinking or bending the tubing with any type of force. Now with the condenser exposed we can proceed.
3: Wrap a plastic bag over the fan motor to protect it. most motors are sealed but who wants to take a chance. we were in a city type setting so we used the curb to get the unit at an angle. But you can use anything a 2×4 will do.
4: Avoid like hell to get any water in the control box. We want to consentrate on the areas of the air conditioner where water won’t hurt anything. By the way thats most of the unit. using pressure from a good nozel go back and forth across the front coil. With the top panel of the evaportor coil off you can spay the blower wheel and clean the inside drain. Next spray the pan and then the condenser from the inside out and outside in.
5: Apply a good soap using a pump sprayer. We used to use top job back in those days but today i like to use simple green. Either one won’t harm anything when spraying the blower wheel of condenser fan blade hold them so they don’t spin.
6: keep repeating the process till your satisfied everything is clean. You may have to brush the coils to get off hardened materials like dead bugs and hair. Put everything back together the same way you took it apart, if there are oil ports on the motor add 20 weight non detergent oil like 30 drops to each one.
7: Don’t let any one tell you it’s not worth cleaning your air conditioner! Every one is an expert at every one else’s job. To this day I still clean my personal air conditioners as well as my customers.
Good luck and don’t forget to tip the air conditioner to drain the water before you pick it up!