Using and Maintaining HVAC Systems in Rental Properties

Keeping Your Window A/C's Head Above Water

Every air conditioning system has to deal with condensation – the byproduct of cooling indoor spaces by removing latent heat and moisture from the surrounding air. Allowing condensation to build up within your window-mounted A/C can be a big problem, since it can cause corrosion and create standing water for insects to breed in.

The following offers a few helpful tips for keeping your window-mounted A/C unit from drowning in its own condensate.

A Slight Tilt Can Do Wonders

Window A/C units are designed to drain their condensation from the rear of the unit. That means keeping your window-mounted A/C unit perfectly level won't do it any favors. In a worst-case scenario, it could even cause the condensation to spill into your home, instead of outside where it belongs.

Having the unit slanted about an inch towards the ground ensures excellent drainage. If you suspect your window A/C unit doesn't have enough of an angle for proper drainage, here's how you can fix that problem:

  • Make sure the window-mounted A/C unit is unplugged before making any adjustments.
  • Set a carpenter's level on top of the unit's exterior chassis to determine whether the unit actually sits level.
  • Have a partner support the A/C unit as you adjust the unit's support bracket. Make sure you leave the carpenter's level in place while you tilt the unit towards the ground. When you have enough tilt, the bubble within the level should sit slightly outside of the right vertical wall. When you're finished, make sure the bracket is secured.

If the unit is located above the first story of your home, you may want to consider hiring a professional to take care of the adjustments.

Keeping Your Unit Clean and Clog-Free

Over time, leaves and other vegetation brought by high winds or small animals can accumulate within and eventually block the condensate drain channels. When this happens, the condensate within your window A/C unit accumulates until it finds an alternate route to escape. In many cases, that "alternate route" could lead to inside of your home.

To keep this from happening, it's important to keep your unit free of any clogs that could jeopardize its drainage capability. In many cases, it's as simple as inserting a long, thin wire inside of the unit's drainage hole to break up and extract clogs. You can also use compressed air to blow out clogs and restore proper condensate drainage.

If clogs are becoming a serious problem for your window A/C unit, you may have to remove the unit from the window and remove the condensate drip tray from the bottom of the unit. This gives you the best opportunity to clean any dirt and debris found on the tray and the underside of the unit. If the tray shows any signs of rust and corrosion, you can also take this opportunity have it replaced.

To learn more, contact a company like Arlington Heating & Air Conditioning