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How to Maintain an Air Conditioner


Thermostat

The thermostat is located behind the control panel. Here's how to test and/or replace the thermostat:

Step 1: Remove grille and control panel from unit. Thermostat has special sensing bulb attached to it; this part extends from thermostat into evaporator coil area. Its role is to sense temperature, which is controlled by thermostat.

Step 2: Remove thermostat carefully because you must return sensing bulb to identical spot later. To make replacement easier, tag location of bulb before you remove thermostat.

Step 3: Check thermostat with VOM set to RX1 scale. Clip probes of tester to thermostat terminals, and turn temperature control dial to coldest setting. If meter reads zero, thermostat is functioning properly. If reading is higher than zero, replace thermostat with new one of same type. If thermostat is held to control panel or frame with screws, clips, or metal tabs, connect new thermostat the same way the old one was connected.

Note: If the thermostat has more than two lead wires connected to it (not counting the sensing bulb wire) do not try to test or replace it. Instead, call a professional service person.

Drain Ports

As the air conditioner operates, condensed moisture and water vapor from the evaporator coil are funneled through drain ports or an opening between the partition in the middle of the evaporator coil and the condenser coil. At this point, the fan blows the moisture against the condenser coil, where the water is dissipated.

Drain ports can become clogged with dirt. The result is water leaking from the appliance, usually through the bottom of the grille. To prevent clogging, clean the ports with a short piece of wire hanger or the blade of a pocketknife. Do this at the beginning of every cooling season and every month during the season. Also check the condenser side of the air conditioner. Some models have a drain port along the bottom edge of the cabinet frame. If your air conditioner has this drain port, clean it out when you clean the other ports.

The fan, motor, and compressor require routine maintenance to keep your air-conditioning unit running at its most efficient. The following are some simple guidelines.