I need your advice on how to fix a window air conditioner that is not cooling.

First, make sure it is turned on, and second, make sure it is plugged in. Wait, plug it in before you turn it on to avoid a shocking result.

It is turned on, and even runs a little.

Have you had a lot of condensation?

Compared to what?

If the unit has been sweating more than usual, it might have been straining under the load and running harder than it was rated for before a motor burned out.

It has not made any odder sounds than usual.

Or a coolant leak allowed water in the air to condense around the coils before dripping into the house. And if there is no coolant, it is not an air conditioner – just an air mover.

And an air filter.

Air conditioners that have a clogged filter will have trouble getting enough air in and back out, and you’ll lose power trying to suck air in through the filter so there’s less power to run the condenser.

So I need to clean the air filters.

Or at least see if they need to be replaced. They may be filled with dirt and debris, or if you have a bad condensate drain, mold.

At least checking and replacing an air filter is something I can do myself.

If the unit is old or had enough humidity for mold to develop, it could have rust.

That might make things come loose, but it won’t make it stop working.

If the motor rusts to the point of not spinning freely, it cannot circulate the refrigerant efficiently. If the coil has rusted through at any point, you’ll loose refrigerant.

And no refrigerant means no refrigeration, well, cooling.

If you’ve lost refrigeration, the closest you’ll get to cooling from it is sticking a bag of ice in the broken AC, and letting the fan run for a makeshift swamp cooler.

Anything else I can check before calling an HVAC guy who between the service call, and refrigerant bill costs more than the window AC?

See if the coil fins are clogged with dirt. Clean that to improve the unit’s efficiency and maybe get it cooling again.

Dusting the AC has never been on my list.

And check to see if some idiot closed the curtains in front of the AC again; if it is making cold air but cannot blow it into the house, you’ll know why it is not cooling things down.

I rate that alongside checking the thermostat is actually set for a lower temperature.

Knowing your family, check that, too.

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