The main problems encountered with room and window air conditioning units are that they either do not cool the room properly or they won't turn on at all. These are jobs that you can take on yourself if you have the unit's owner's manual and right tools. Otherwise, it's advisable to call out a professional appliance repair technician to fix the unit for you.
Here's a quick guide on how to fix both these problems.
The air conditioning unit fails to cool properly
The usual cause of failure to cool is that the unit is dirty and needs cleaning. To clean the unit:
- Switch off the unit at the mains plug and remove it from the wall.
- Take off the external grille by popping it off the retaining clips, and unscrew the metal case from the unit. Be very careful that you don't damage the coil fins during this process.
- At this point you can either wash the filter under a cold tap or replace it with a new one. New filters can be sourced from good DIY or appliance stores.
- Now use the soft brush attachment on your vacuum cleaner to suck away dust and debris from the coil fins.
- Use a damp rag to clean out all the drains that remove water from the condenser, and allow them to dry thoroughly.
- Reassemble the unit.
The air conditioning unit won't turn on
There are a few reasons why your air conditioning unit won't turn on.
- The first thing to do is to double check that the unit is plugged into the wall and is switched on.
- Window and room air con units use a lot of power, and this can sometimes trip out the mains switch. Turn off the circuit breaker and then switch it back on. If the unit still doesn't come on, try plugging a lamp into the same plug socket and turning that on. If it works, it could be that the air con unit is overloading the socket.
- Make sure that the thermostat on the unit is set below the temperature in the room. If the room is already warmer than the thermostat setting, the unit won't come on.
- If the indicator light on the front of the unit comes on, indicating that there is power to the unit, then it is likely that the thermostat is broken or the air con unit's switch is faulty. You will need to call an air conditioning repair technician to look into the fault and repair it for you.