Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Ace A/C

Now that the dog days of summer are finally here (literally for us), and suddenly your air conditioner is reminding you why you keep it hanging in your window all year, it's time to do your a/c unit a favor, and clean out the filters. Chances are, if you have used them at all this year, they are gunked up with all kinds of disgusting stuff- mostly dust and dirt, which is then getting blown all over your house or apartment. Lovely thought.
Not only will this save you from inhaling God knows how many dust mites, but it will also help your a/c work more efficiently, allowing you to run it at a lower setting and get more chill for your buck.
And it's super easy to do, if a little gross. I recommend doing all the units at your house at the same time because this is not a job I enjoy doing more than once a summer. Also, maybe do it right before you are planning to take a shower, like after you work out or something, because it's a messy job.
1. Remove the filter from your unit- it will either be vinyl mesh or foam, depending on the model, and should slip right out the front of the unit. Make note of how it goes in, since you are going to have to put it back the same way. Yecch, right?
2. Take the filter outside and rub off the linty dust with a clean dry rag or brush- it will resemble the lint from your dryer, only dirtier. I use an old toothbrush. You might want to wear a mask for this if you suffer from allergies or are just not that psyched about inhaling dust particles.
3. Run the filter under water to rinse off any residual dust. An outdoor hose is ideal, but you can do it in the bathtub if you are an apartment dweller. Just be prepared to clean the tub after.
4. Allow the filter to dry completely before putting it back in the a/c unit. No fooling- putting it back wet could encourage the growth of mold, or cause a short in the unit. And then how much better off are you?
5. Enjoy the newly-invigorated chilly relief and comfort from the sweltering heat. Oh, and take a shower.

photo credit: Kyle Lambert on flickr

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