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Fix an Iced-Up Air Conditioner and Clean a Room Air Conditioner

Air conditioners can easily ice up under certain conditions causing them to become less efficient. There are several steps you can take to reduce ice buildup and prevent it from returning in future. Every air conditioner has an ideal operating range outside of which ice can form on the cooling coils, grilles, and appliance casing.

How to Fix an Iced-Up Air Conditioner

Reducing ice may take several hours. Exact instructions and location of parts will vary based on your exact make and model of air conditioner. Turn the air conditioner to fan-only mode for a few hours.

Alternatively you can turn down the air conditioner to its lowest setting if there is no fan-only mode. The ice buildup will begin to disappear over the next few hours. Turn the air conditioner off if the ice buildup is particularly bad.

Switch the air conditioner on when the outside temperature is above 65 degrees Fahrenheit 18 degrees Celsius. Most air conditioners will ice up when used during cool weather. Open a window and let in fresh air instead of using the air conditioning below 65 degrees Fahrenheit.

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Dont overuse the air conditioner — turn it down or off when your room is cool enough. Your air conditioner may be rated too high for the size of the room. The higher the air conditioners British thermal unit rating, the more powerful its cooling power.

High-powered air conditioners should be placed in large spaces. Turning down the air conditioner will reduce the chance of ice buildup. Move the appliance to a larger space of problems continue.

Vacuum out any dust from the air filter once a month. The air conditioner will ice up if the air flow is restricted by dirt in the air filter screen. Switch off the air conditioner when youre vacuuming the filter.

Some models of air conditioners have removable filters that can be washed with warm soapy water. Clear the airway from the air conditioner of any restrictions. Objects or furniture placed in front of the grille can reduce air flow and cause ice to slowly stick to the cooling coils.

You can alternatively move your air conditioner to another part of your room or home.

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How to Clean a Room Air Conditioner

Unplug the air conditioner, remove the unit from the window and place it on a drop cloth. If a drop cloth is unavailable, spread out newspaper to protect the floor or take the unit outside and clean it on the driveway. Take the front grill off.

This may require using a screwdriver. Refer to the product manual if you have trouble figuring out how to do this. There will probably be a filter between the grill front and the inside of the grill area.

If this filter is attached to the grill part that you took off, leave it there for the moment. If it is attached to the main part of the air conditioner, remove it now. Dust all parts you can reach.

For dirt that wont come off with a dry rag, spray cleaner on the rag and use that. Be careful around any switches; dont let water get around or behind the switches. Use the hose attachment with a brush to vacuum out dust from any part of the air conditioner that you can reach.

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This is especially important in the grill area since dirt and dust here makes the unit perform less efficiently. Clean the filter. If the filter is the foam kind, similar to a very thin lightweight sponge, you can clean it by holding it under running water.

One side will be noticeably dirtier than the other run the water through the filter with the dirty side down. If the filter is not of the foam kind, you may be able to clean it by vacuuming it with the brush attachment or simply by gently tapping it over the garbage can. You also might want to dust it off with a gentle tap.

If the filter is excessively dirty or falling apart, buy a replacement.

A window air conditioner needs a thorough cleaning when you get it out of storage for the year. Then, it needs periodic cleaning to make sure you get rid of the dust that can accumulate on it. Cleaning it will make it run more efficiently.

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