Clean a Window Unit Air Conditioner and Use PVC Pipe Underground to Air Condition a Home
Window unit air conditioners need regular cleaning and maintenance to operate at optimum efficiency. It is not difficult, but it is time-consuming. Your reward will be cleaner, fresher air and a more efficient cooling system.
How to Clean a Window Unit Air Conditioner
This method is only for cleaning the filter and the inside coils of your air conditioner. Unless you have studied HVAC heating, ventilation and air conditioning or small engine repair, do not attempt to clean or take apart your air conditioners motor housing. If your air conditioner needs a refill on coolant, please consult a professional HVAC contractor.
Be sure your window unit air conditioner is disconnected from any power sources before attempting to clean it. If your window unit is wired into the home instead of having a power cord, put the master circuit breaker for the entire house in the off position or pull it out if you have the old fashioned fuses. The capacitor in your window unit can store electricity even when the unit is not plugged into the wall.
Follow manufacturers directions to be sure that the capacitor has been discharged to avoid electrical shock hazard before you begin cleaning the inside of your window unit. Wipe down the outside cover of the air conditioner with a damp cloth to remove any loose dust and debris.
Remove front cover from air conditioner. Some covers pull off easily. Others are held in place with plastic clamps or screws and must be disassembled.
Place screws or other hardware somewhere out of reach of pets and small children. Fill kitchen sink, basin or bathtub one third full with hot, soapy water. Dip filter into sink, basin or bathtub and swirl vigorously to remove all dirt and debris.
If necessary, use a soft brush to remove any stubborn trapped dirt. Use an old toothbrush to loosen dirt from corners and hard to reach places. Rinse with hand held spray nozzle.
Shake filter to remove as much water as possible, and stand upright to dry. Do not put a wet filter back into your window unit, as the moisture will cause dust and debris to build up faster, providing a medium for mold growth. Wear rubber or plastic gloves when using bleach or other harsh cleaners.
Using an old toothbrush, dip into bleach solution, disinfectant or fungicide and shake lightly so that you are using as little water as possible. Slowly and carefully brush away dust and debris from the coils and any reachable surfaces of the inside of the air conditioner. Rinse toothbrush often.
Repeat with cotton swabs dipped in bleach, disinfectant or fungicide solution. Change rinse water frequently as it gets dirty. Continue with toothbrush and cotton swabs until you are satisfied that you have removed as much dirt and debris as you can reach.
Dry all reachable surfaces with scrunched up paper towels. Once filter is dry, put it back into place and clip the face plate back onto your window unit. Be sure to replace all screws and hardware removed earlier.
Turn your window unit on and observe if any loose debris blows out of it. Turn unit back off and wipe away any blown debris, then turn unit back on. Clean up your mess and discard everything in a waste basket.
Be sure to wipe up any dripped water or cleaning fluid. Wash your hands!.
How to Use PVC Pipe Underground to Air Condition a Home
Mark the route for your ditch with stakes and string or survey marking paint. Mark the ditch a measured distance to the side of where you will dig, so that you do not disturb the mark while digging. The ideal route is a straight, slightly downhill run about 100 feet long.
Dig the trench. The depth of the trench will vary based on your area and the desired efficiency of the tube. Fill the bottom of the trench with pea gravel to a depth of 2 to 3 inches.
This will level the bottom of the trench and provide a drainage layer that will reduce the chances of water getting into the pipe. Install the pipe using PVC primer and cement to seal each joint in the pipe. Cover the end of the pipe that is open to daylight with the insect screen and chicken wire to prevent rodents and insects from entering the tube.
This screen should be removable to provide access for cleaning.
A simple underground PVC pipe, often called an earth tube or ground coupled heat exchanger can potentially reduce your cooling bills by using the earths near constant temperature to precondition outside air coming into your home. The same system can be used to reduce heating costs in the winter. This method is a low-tech solution that works on some basic physics, but just because it is low tech does not mean that some thought, planning, and design are not needed.