These 'Helpful Tips' and the 'Myths About Appliances' sections could help you rectify simple problems without any other help and before they turn into costly ones. They could also help you avoid the need for service altogether. Appliance411 major home appliance parts, repair and service information for consumers.
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Home Service : Helpful Tips : Air Conditioner

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Do not drill holes to remove excess moisture from inside the unit. The water that accumulates in the bottom is the humidity removed from your room. On many models, the condenser fan blade picks up this water and throws it on the hot condenser. When it evaporates it aids in the heat removal from the refrigerant. In addition, the refrigerant gas travels in thin copper tubing easily punctured. Expensive repairs will be required to fix it and that damage will not be covered by any warranty.
(Added: 13-Nov-1999)
Do not solder!Do not attempt to use regular plumbing solder to repair copper or steel refrigerant lines. This requires special silver-alloy solders such as Silfoss or silver solder to withstand refrigerant pressures. In addition, once tried, it may not be possible to remove the household solder to weld the lines properly.
(Added: 13-Nov-1999)
Keep the front grill on the unit. Proper air circulation is necessary for highest efficiency. Also make sure curtains or other obstacles do not hamper the air flow.
(Added: 13-Nov-1999)
Keep other window curtains closed as sunlight can increase room temperature greatly. If possible put the air conditioner in a north facing window to avoid direct sunlight on the condenser because it will hamper heat removal.
(Added: 13-Nov-1999)
Do not operate the unit on an extension cord! The compressor draws a lot of current and can be damaged if insufficient voltage is continually supplied. If you must use one, use only those designed for air conditioners (usually flat) AND only as long as required. NEVER use a lawn mower extension cord.
(Added: 13-Nov-1999)
Beware falling temperatureAir conditioners are not meant to be operated if the inside or outside air temperature is below 70F. If this happens, ice will form on the evaporator coil and will restrict air flow possibly burning out the fan motor. If the temperature is suppose to drop during the night, set to thermostat to a warmer setting to allow the compressor to cycle off when necessary to avoid icing up.
(Added: 13-Nov-1999)
Have your unit steam-cleaned at least every 3 years, every year if you live in a heavy traffic area. Particles stick to the surface of the condenser, reducing the cooling efficiency and causing increased power consumption. This is also true for central air conditioners.
(Added: 13-Nov-1999)
When installing a window or through the wall air conditioner, it is important that it still be removable. It will need to be removed for repairs and the periodic maintenance that is required from time to time. It is also important that none of the air louvers on the sides be blocked. Reducing these air vents will reduce the cooling ability of the unit and can lead to premature component failure. Any failures caused by this will usually not be covered by any warranty.
(Added: 8-Apr-2000)
Tilted window unitTo aid the flow of recovered room humidity from the front of the cabinet towards the rear, make sure that the unit is pitched so that the rear of the unit is 1/4 to 1/2 inches lower than the front.
(Added: 11-Aug-2000)

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