Introduction: Does Your Air Conditioner Smell Like Feet?
Are you finding the smell your air conditioner makes worse then dealing with the heat? Don't fret, you probably have a cheap air conditioner that needs a cleaning and slight modification. The air conditioner you have is probably not suited for the environment you live in. A unit that uses evaporative cooling is not much help to you if there is excessive humidity. The water it accumulates is warmed by the coils and can breed mold in the air conditioning unit. Mold and rotting debris will lead to the smell and can also pose a health risk. If you are feeling sick after using an air conditioner, mold could be the reason!
This instructable will walk you through basic cleaning and modification of a small Arctic King. The process will be similar for any model of air conditioner.
Step 1: Tools
- Phillips screwdriver
- Cotton swabs
- Paper towels
- Used tooth brush
- Drill bits (For drilling Metal)
- Rust inhibitor (optional)
Step 2: Disassemble the Air Conditioner
- Unplug the air condtioner and remove it from the window if it is already installed.
- Note: When handling an air conditioner be very cautious to not touch the fins. Pressing down the fins at the back of the air conditioner will decrease it's efficiency.
- Remove the accordian side pieces
- Slide the accordian piece all the way to the side until it comes out of the track (mine has the track on the bottom)
- Once the accordian is all the way to the side and out of the track it will be free to slide up and release from the main unit.
- Other models may have screws holding the accordian piece on.
Step 3: Clean the Air Conditioner
- The first step is to remove all the collected debris inside the air conditioner.
- The level of cleaning you wish to do is up to you. If you do not mind taking things apart then remove more screws and components so you may clean around them.
- Use the long stem cotton swabs to remove junk in tight places.
- Wipe out all the areas with paper towels
- Soak up all the remaining water with the paper towels.
- Note: You could use old rags or material if you have it. I think the paper towels are easier though.
Step 4: Modify the Air Conditioner
We are going to add what the manufacturer left out, weep holes! ! Buyer beware! Big box stores will gladly sell you an air conditioner not suited for your region
Anyway, Let's get to it.
- Place the unit upside down. I marked the underside with "inside" and "outside" for your reference.
- Determine the low spots where water may accumulate.
- Mark where you want your weep holes. I marked 8 spots where I wanted to put holes. Be sure all the holes will be on the outside of the window and not inside the room.
- VERY IMPORTANT: Be absolutely certain that you will not be drilling into any critical component of the air conditioner. One puncture of the coils and the air conditioner will be useless!
- Making the weep holes.
- At each of the marked locations use your punch to indent the metal slightly. This will prevent your bit from moving around when you attempt to drill the hole.
- I drilled the holes by using a small diameter bit followed by a large diameter bit.
- Note 1: Do not chose a diameter that will allow insects(wasps and other nest builders) to go into your air conditioner. If you have it off and installed for a while insects may be attracted to building a nest in there.
- Note 2: there are a few holes I have drilled on this particular unit that you must be extremely careful making.
- The back corner holes are near the coils. Drill these holes on a slight angle facing towards the side of the air conditioner so the bit goes away from the coils.
- At the bottom center of the air conditioner I drilled 2 holes through the metal into the round plastic piece surrounding the fan. This way water will not sit underneath the fan in the plastic. If you do this, be very careful that you do not drill into the fan blade ring and brake it. This ring is probably there to fling water on to the back coils to improve efficiency. There is only an efficiency benefit in low humidity environments where evaporative coolong works best. in high humidity environments the water is warmed and creates a bath for mold to grow in.
- Clean up the excess metal around the drill holes.
- Paint each of the holes with a rust inhibitor.
- I chose not to do this. I figure if it rusts it will just mean I just have bigger weep holes. :)
Step 5: Test the Air Conditioner If You Had Removed Interior Parts. (optional)
- Assemble any mechanical or electrical components you may have taken apart.
- Make sure your body parts are away from the Air conditioner and briefly test it to make sure all the internal parts are properly installed and the air conditioner is working. You don't want to close up the air conditioner to find out something is out of alignment or disconnected. No use making extra work for yourself!
Step 6: Reassemble the Air Conditioner.
- Place the back and front cover on the air conditioner.
- Return the correct type of screw to the holes they were removed from.
- Reinstall the air conditioner in the window and enjoy cool air that does not smell like feet.