How It Works: Air Conditioners

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Air conditioner not cold enough or leaking water? This video provides information on how a window air conditioner works and offers troubleshooting tips to assist you in diagnosing and repair.

Here is a list of the most commonly replaced parts associated with each air conditioner symptom:

Air conditioner not cold enough: air filter, compressor, thermostat, thermistor
Air conditioner fan not working: drive motor, fan motor, relay board
Air conditioner compressor won’t run: thermostat, control board, overload
Air conditioner compressor won’t turn off: thermostat, thermistor, relay board, control board
Air conditioner is loud or noisy: compressor, drive motor, fan motor, fan blade, fan, blower wheel

All of the information provided in this window air conditioner troubleshooting video is applicable to the following brands: Amana, Electrolux, Fedders, Frigidaire, GE, Haier, Hampton Bay, Kenmore, LG, Whirlpool

RepairClinic has millions of replacement parts for appliances, lawn equipment, power tools, and heating & cooling equipment including washers, dryers, dishwashers, refrigerators, lawn mowers, snowblowers, furnaces, and air conditioners. Our customer care team is available to help by phone or live chat, seven days a week: 1-800-269-2609. We guarantee the fastest shipping possible—all in-stock parts ship the same business day. Return any part for any reason with our generous 365-day return policy.

In addition to providing replacement parts, RepairClinic.com offers free online troubleshooting information and DIY repair videos. Use our website to choose from a series of problems to discover the likely causes and the correct replacement part(s) for your particular model. Once you’ve determined the solution, our expertly-produced video tutorials will guide you through every step of the repair.

At RepairClinic, we make fixing things easy!
1Maintenance tips for your window air conditioner
Maintenance tips for your window air conditioner
The window air conditioner offers an efficient, convenient means to cool a room or two in your home. Properly maintaining your air conditioner will improve efficiency, reduce energy consumption and prevent costly repairs and downtime. Before performing any maintenance or repair work, be sure to review your air conditioner’s owner’s manual for instructions.
2Clean the air filter monthly.
Clean the air filter monthly.
On most models, the air filter is easily accessible by removing the front panel. Remove the filter and clean it gently with a combination of warm water and dish soap or white vinegar. Let the filter air dry completely before reinstalling it. These should be cleaned once per month during the cooling season. If you have pets, or allergies, consider cleaning it more frequently. If the filter has tears, holes or other damage, it should be replaced. If your unit has a foam filter, you can purchase replacement electrostatic filter material and cut it to accommodate the exact size of your model.
3Check for insect/animal nests.
Check for insect/animal nests.
If you’ve left your air conditioner uncovered in your window or wall over the winter, you’ll need to check for wasp and bees’ nests inside of the unit. Avoid problems with this in the future by storing your window air conditioner in a protected area such as a basement or utility room during the off season. If you must leave your AC in the window, use an air conditioner cover.
4Clean the condenser coils once per season.
Clean the condenser coils once per season.
Over time, dust and dirt will build up on the inside of the air conditioner’s condenser coils. This build up will require your AC to work harder to remove heat – increasing energy consumption and your monthly electric bill. At the start of every cooling season, clean the condenser coils. You’ll need to remove the air conditioner cabinet completely in order to access the coils. They can be cleaned by blowing compressed air at them or by using a soft bristle brush and a spray bottle of household cleaner to wipe the dirt off. Take great care in removing the dirt. If you accidentally bend or dent the aluminum coil fins, use a handy fin comb to straighten out the fins. It is also important to remove dirt or lint build up at the bottom of the air conditioner so the condensate water will be picked up by the condensing fan blade slinger properly.
5Clean the water pan.
Clean the water pan.
To prevent the growth of mold and a musty odor in the air, use warm water, dish detergent or white vinegar to clean the inside base of the unit whenever you have the unit taken apart to clean the condenser coils.
6Inspect cooling coils for frost or ice buildup.
Inspect cooling coils for frost or ice buildup.
If the temperature outside the room where the air conditioner is placed becomes cool (approximately 60 degrees Fahrenheit or 15 degrees Celsius or lower), check the coils on the front of the air conditioner for icing. Ice buildup on coils means the temperature is too low for proper operation of the unit. You should use it only when the outdoor temperature rises above 60 degrees Fahrenheit or 15 degrees Celsius.
7Check the remote control.
Check the remote control.
You may need to replace the batteries in your unit’s remote control. If you replace the batteries and the remote control fails to function, enter your unit’s model number to find a replacement remote control.
8Find a good storage location.
Find a good storage location.
Leaving window air conditioners in windows during the winter can cause drafts and lead to increased energy consumption. Air conditioners are best stored in an attic, basement or utility room. Garages are not a wise place because small animals and insects are more likely to seek shelter inside of AC units in those locations. Mice and other rodents are known to chew on wiring and cause expensive damage. If you must keep the unit mounted in the window during the off season, be sure to use an air conditioner cover that’s specifically designed to protect AC units from weather damage.

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