Window air conditioners are used as a primary source of cooling in many homes, in particular older homes that have never had a central heating or cooling system installed. As the primary cooling method, window air conditioner maintenance is a necessity to prevent having to tackle a larger home improvement project or a complete unit replacement. Since replacing a large window air conditioner is not a cheap prospect, it is important to make the operation of a window air condition as smooth as possible. One way to keep a window unit running smoothly is through the strategic management of the flow of air expelled from the window air conditioner.
Assess the Area to Be Cooled by the Window Air Conditioner
Many people immediately want to place a window air conditioning unit in the room they deem a “living room” or “family room”. While this may seem like an obviously good choice, occasionally there may be a better position if multiple rooms are being cooled by the same unit. For instance, if a window air conditioner is providing a comfortable temperature for a living room, hall, and kitchen area, the hall could end up being the best location if a window is available. It all depends on the layout of the areas.
You can assess the cooling potential yourself by noting if one room is too cold, another too hot, and by taking note of the number of accessory fans needed to push the air from one room to the next. If over two fans are used to cool three rooms, then a better location for the window unit may be needed. Also, if your window unit is freezing up frequently while other rooms remain hot, then another location or a bigger pull on the cold air is needed.
Keep the Air Flow Path Clear of Obstructions
Sometimes the location of a window air condition may be prime, but there are obstructions that block the flow of the air or redirect it in an inefficient manner. Ensure that there is nothing excessively vertical in the path of your air conditioner like the edge of a tall book shelf, entertainment center, or the back of a door. If the window unit is cooling more than one room, these obstructions can take a large portion of the air and redirect upwards and away from the initial pull of a fan directing the flow of air further on throughout the house.
Being smart when it comes to managing air flow can help extend the time between regular air conditioner maintenance needs and save you a large home improvement expense.