How to Fix a Leaking Window Air-Conditioner

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A water leaking air conditioner can not only be messy but it can also ruin the interior of your home. Fixing the leak is not so much a repair job as much as it is a routine maintenance that should be performed once a year before the window air conditioner goes back into service. By following a basic process you keep that window air unit from leaking during the warm months that it is needed.

Things You'll Need

  • Sunny day
  • Window air conditioner
  • Flat surface (concrete slab or old boards)
  • Screwdriver Philips or slotted
  • Household bleach
  • Cup measure
  • Garden hose
  • Spray nozzle

Pull the air conditioner from the window on a mild, sunny spring day. The sun shine will help in rapidly drying out the air conditioner after you perform the next routine process.

Place the air unit on a firm surface. Preferably a concrete slab or a few old boards. Do not place the unit on grass or dirt.

Use the screwdriver and remove the outer metal housing of the air conditioner. There are generally 4 to 6 screws along the lower edge of the cover that holds it to the frame.

Observe the inside of the air unit. Note that there is a plastic drain tray on the bottom. This drain tray carries away the condensation water from the cooling coil and allows it to flow to the outdoors and drip to the ground. The drain tray is plugged from last seasons collection of dust and bacteria growth.

Use the cup measure and pour some house bleach into the plastic tray. Allow the bleach to “work” on the nasty solids that have collected there for about 5 to 10 minutes.

Connect the garden hose to the outdoor spigot and attach the spray nozzle to the hose.

Spray in the interior of the air unit with the moderate pressure from the spray nozzle. Force the water into the plastic drain tray and remove all of the solid debris that is laying there. Spray the interior and exterior coils as well since you have the unit cover off. You will have to remove the interior filter as well. Clean the filter while it is exposed.

Place another cup of bleach into the plastic drain tray and allow the liquid cleaner to set for about 5 to 10 minutes than thoroughly rinse the unit with fresh water. The inside area should be thoroughly clean.

Allow the unit to completely dry in the sun. When dry, replace the exterior cover and place the unit back into the window. The unit will be cured of leaking for another cooling season.

Tips & Warnings

  • Weekly cleanings of the interior filter will help in alleviating bacteria build up in the drain tray. Living in an outdoor dusty environment may create the need to perform the bleach cleaning more than just once a year.
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