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Heating and Cooling Six simple ways to get your window or through-the-wall air conditioner ready for summer

Published on May 31st, 2013 | by Staff


Six simple ways to get your window or through-the-wall air conditioner ready for summer

You’re about to spend a lot of money and use a lot of energy to keep your home and your family comfortable.

Is your window or through-the-wall air conditioner* ready?

Give your air conditioner a simple tune up to improve efficiency, reduce energy consumption and prevent costly repairs and a mid-summer meltdown.

1. 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. They love to nest there. AC air conditioner air filter material

2. Clean the air filter.
On most models, the air filter is easily accessible by removing the front panel. Take the filter out 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. Tweet this tip.

If the filter is damaged, it should be replaced. If your unit has a foam filter, you can purchase replacement electrostatic filter material and cut it to fit your model perfectly.

3. Clean the condenser coils.
Over time, dust and dirt will build up on the inside of an air conditioner’s condenser coils. This build up will require your AC to work harder to remove heat causing it to consume more energy which will cost you more money to run.

Before the start of every cooling season, clean the coils within the air conditioner. 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. Tweet this tip.

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.

4. 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 pan at the base of the unit once or twice per cooling season.

5. Inspect cooling coils for frost or ice build up.
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. If the coils are icing up, turn off the air conditioner until the outdoor temperature rises above 60 degrees Fahrenheit or 15 degrees Celsius. Tweet this tip.

6. 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, you can find a replacement remote control by entering your unit’s model number at

*(also referred to as through wall air conditioners, through-wall air conditioners or thru-wall air conditioners.)

Something not working right? has replacement parts and accessories for air conditioners including air filters, covers, remote controls, knobs, touch-up paint, side curtains with frames and many other products.

With your model number handy, head to to find parts recommended for your model.

Related info

More AC maintenance tips

Five ways to save money and energy during heat waves

How an air conditioner works

How to find your air conditioner’s model number

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Since 1999, three and a half million people have purchased replacements parts and accessories from RepairClinic and saved more than $260 million in repair costs by fixing appliances, lawn equipment, power tools, and heating & cooling equipment on their own. From the beginning, RepairClinic has provided free troubleshooting and how-to resources on its website.

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About the Author staff members enjoy dozens of daily conversations with RepairClinic’s customer community every day. We're inspired by our customers' stories of successful DIY repairs, major money savings and empowerment to tackle many repair projects on their own. Every day, our 2,200+ free how-to videos are viewed 60,000 times. Visit and join us on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

6 Responses to Six simple ways to get your window or through-the-wall air conditioner ready for summer

  1. ellen beck says:

    I like the tip about cleaning the filter- it is so easy to do, and so easy to forget to do! Cleaning the filter helps the unit last longer too!

    • Jody Lamb says:

      Hi Ellen, glad you liked the filter tip. Yes, cleaning the filter is definitely an important step in extending the life of the AC unit. Have a wonderful summer!

  2. Leon Anthis says:


  3. Steven Sitler says:

    Thanks for the tips on getting my ac ready for the summer.

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