If your home lacks a central air conditioning unit, a window air conditioner can become the prime method of keeping interior temperatures comfortable during the hot summer months. Modern window units are built to be fairly energy efficient without compromising cooling quality. But there are ways to make sure your window unit is working to its maximum potential so that you get the best cooling process possible.
Don't hesitate to call an air conditioning repair technician if your window unit seems less efficient than usual despite your best efforts. There could be a mechanical issue at play. Otherwise, here are a couple of methods you can use to keep your unit working as well as possible.
Check the Size
There are different sizes of window air conditioners available made to cool different sized rooms. You need to make sure the unit is matched to the room it's supposed to cool or your efficiency will drop as soon as you first turn the unit on.
The power of air conditioners is measured in British Thermal Units, or BTUs. In general, you want to multiply the square feet of the room by 20 to find the minimum BTUs required to cool the room. But you want to go even higher with the BTUs if the room is a kitchen, has a lot of sunlight during the day, or has high ceilings.
You also want to make sure the unit is only cooling the room for which it's measured. So you want to keep doors and windows to the room closed. If the room doesn't have a door, consider hanging a room curtain to minimize the amount of cold air that leaks into neighboring rooms.
Insulate the Window
Most window units come with panels that extend at both sides to both secure the unit to the window and to block out the warm outside air that would otherwise come in around the unit. But units aren't always a perfect fit and there can be small gaps even when those panels are fully extended.
There a couple of different ways you can insulate the area around your air conditioner. Foam weatherstripping strips are the easiest insulation to apply and remove when you want to take the unit out during the winter. You can find the strips at most hardware or home improvement stores. Follow the package directions but, generally, all you need to do is cut the strips and apply around the edges of the unit using the adhesive attached to the strip. Contact a company like McCrea Heating & Plumbing Inc for more information.