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How to Fix a Leaky Air Conditioning Window Unit in Your Apartment

Chances are at this time of year your window air conditioning unit is pulling a heavy load. In most parts of the country it’s just too hot and humid to stick with open windows and fans. You’ll try to avoid turning on that air conditioner for as long as possible, hoping to save a bit of cash. But inevitably you’ll be switching that unit on, especially on those muggy nights when you struggle to sleep. Those pleasant dreams may well turn into a nightmare if you wake up to find a puddle of water on the ground in front of your air conditioner. Just try not to panic. In most instances this isn’t a big deal, and is easy enough to solve. Here are some tips on how to fix a leaky air conditioning window unit in your apartment.

First of all, consider what might be the easiest problem to solve, the fact that you’ve installed the air conditioner in the window incorrectly. This is pretty common, especially with the larger units you put to use in more sizable rooms. Those appliances are heavy, and it’s often all you can do just to get it in the window and avoid a deadly drop over the sill. But a window air conditioner should always be installed so that it slopes towards the outside and not inwards towards the room. Even a difference in gradient as mild as one inch could be causing the leak. Check the angle before you venture into any more complicated repairs.

Another simple fix is taking a look at the drip pan. Even though the air conditioner is meant to drip out the window it still has a tray underneath that collects some built up moisture. This is absolutely natural, but some people forget that the drip pan needs to be checked. Take a look in there. Is the pan overflowing? You may just need to dump it out and then double check it every week or so to make sure things don’t build up again.

For the next step make sure you have an extra hand around. You’re going to need to open up the top of the window pane, and you should have someone else there to make sure the air conditioner doesn’t fall out of balance and drop. There should be a small drain tube on the lower part of the back of the air conditioner. If you can’t find a tube, look for a small hole that serves the same purpose. Sometimes these systems can get clogged up, especially if you haven’t cleaned the air conditioner’s filter recently. Turn the unit off, grab a pen and dig around in there. See if you can find any clogs and release them, then turn the unit back on. After thirty minutes or so it should start to drain again.

Finally, open the front of the unit and check the coils. If you’ve got an imbalance of refrigerant, or have attempted a R-22 refrigerant phase out that wasn’t done professionally you might find frost built up on the coils. This moisture will continue to freeze and refreeze, diverting the overflow into your home. If this is the culprit you are going to need a professional to come in and repair your air conditioner. Depending on the age of the device, you might even be better off buying something new.

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