How to Keep Your Window AC Running At It’s Best

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There’s nothing worse than suffering through a hot summer when your air conditioner isn’t working well. The heat doesn’t seem to end, you can’t remember what it’s like to NOT sweat, and you start to actually miss wearing a few layers. 

Window air conditioners are one of the most efficient ways of cooling a room. But even they can’t turn down the sun.

While we can’t control the outside temperature, there are plenty of actions we take to make ourselves more comfortable. I’ve put together this quick list of ideas to keep your window air conditioner working at it’s best – I hope it helps. If any of these sound useful, be sure to try them out today! You’ll thank yourself for the rest of the season.


Perform a Quick Health Check

When was the last time you looked under the hood of your window air conditioner?

Never? Oh boy. You’re in for a treat.

And I don’t mean that in a bad way.

A quick 15-minute maintenance check-up can make your window air conditioner quieter, more efficient, and last MUCH longer. You don’t even have to take it off the bracket. Simply remove as many parts as your comfortable too and soak them in a basin.

Usually, its best to unplug the unit before doing any work on it.

Remove the filter, and soak that too. (Or replace it, if it’s disposable).

Take a comb and lightly work out all the big clumps hair and dust from inside the machine. Gently run it DOWN (vertical motions only) the fins. Then give the interior a quick vacuum and wipe down with a cloth. 

Wipe down the parts you’ve soaked, and reattach. That’s all there is to it!

Those quick steps will mean your AC runs so much more efficiently, and quieter.

Consider Your Placement

When it comes to portability, comparing portable and window air conditioners will always produce a clear winner. 

It’s super easy to move a portable air conditioner around to always stay in the shade. But window air conditioners are a different story.

To get the most from your window AC, you want to guarantee that your AC is in the most shaded part of your home. 

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Leaving an air conditioner running in direct sunlight is asking for trouble.

So get it installed on the shady side of your house. 

Program your Air Conditioning


One of the worst ways to use an air conditioner is to get home, shout “MAN it’s hot!” and whack it up to full power. 

Why is this bad? Because:

  1. Max power means minimum efficiency. Your energy bills will skyrocket.
  2. Not to mention wear and tear on your machine
  3. You’ll forget to turn it down until it’s freezing (goodbye more money)

Instead, be smart with your air conditioning. They are only meant to drop the temperature by around 20 degrees. Use a program to turn it on before you get home. Trust me, all you need is a 5-10 degree drop and it’ll feel like a fridge when you get home. There’s no need for full blast.

An advanced program also means it will run smoothly on low, which is better for the machine and for your electricity bill.

Lastly, make sure to position them well. Place your air conditioner in the most shaded side of the room.

Add Some Fan Support


While air conditioners can be great at producing cool air, they often are pretty lackluster in the fan department.

By adding a floor fan, we can encourage the cool air to flow strongly and freshen up the room as much as possible. This is also ideal if your window air conditioner is stuck a little far away from you.

You can place a fan next to the air conditioner, and use it to encourage the airflow forwards – into the room. Or, alternatively, use a spiraling air circulator from Vornado. These are made to “bounce” the air from the wall. By targeting this right below your window ac, the cool air gets sent circulating all around the room.

Use It Smartly


A window air conditioner isn’t going to last you long if you use it wrong.

The first golden rule about air conditioners is that they can’t fight the sun. Don’t leave them in direct sunlight, or extra hot areas of your home.

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Second, is that they aren’t made to run on max. One of the silliest ways to use an AC is to get home, panic about the heat, and crank it up full power. That’s the quickest way to a dud AC (and a high energy bill).

Instead, use a program to get the temperature gently cooled before you’re even in the room. This works super well because you immediately notice the temperature difference when you walk in. Even if it’s only half of the lowest temperature it can give you. 

I hope that makes sense. It’s because you’re suddenly going from hot (outside) to quite cool (inside) you’ll notice it and feel cooler. But going from hot (inside) until it’s gradually cool (inside) won’t feel nearly as nice because it’s such a slow transition.

Get Tactical with Blinds/Curtains


I often used to wonder whether it was better to have my windows covered or not. Turns out there’s a very simple rule.

If the sun’s shining in, draw the curtain. If you’re in the shade, open up to see the day.

Simply put – if there is direct sunlight coming into your room, then you want to block off that window. Otherwise, it’s helpful to have your curtains/blinds open. 

Basically this is because windows are where we have the least insulation. So if the outside temperature is warmer in that spot, then we increase the barrier between our room and the outdoors by closing off the window with blinds/curtains. If it’s in the shade, then it may even be cooler outside and we can lower the ‘barrier’ there.


As amazing as technology can be, it’s important we get the most out of our appliances.

I hope this quick guide has helped give you a few ideas to get more out of your air conditioner. Out of all the appliances in our home, these are some of the most important to take care of well.

Thanks for taking the time to read this article. Make sure to check out some of other related articles if you enjoyed it!