Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Performing air conditioner maintenance on your RV

Want your RV air conditioners to last longer and work more efficiently? Routine maintenance is the best way to prevent having to fork out over $1,000 for a replacement.

Some RV air conditioner systems have a valve that allows the unit to also act as a heater. During colder months RVers tend to use these types of AC units just as much as they would during the summer.

If you’ve never performed air conditioner maintenance or if you haven’t done it for a while you may want to considering doing so when weather permits.Cleaning your air conditioner is straight forward. First remove the cover retaining screws. Pull the cover off and remove any large pieces of debris like twigs or leaves and then blow out the heat exchanger fins with compressed air.Clean the inside cover with a mild detergent and replace it.

Wasps like building nests under air conditioner covers and their nesting material can plug up the unit.Inside your coach be sure to remove and clean the vent cover and filter. I recommend doing this once a month during heavy usage.Using a vacuum with a brush attachment or a soft brush clean the louvers inside the unit. Do this at least once a year.This is a photo of a unit that had to be replaced because it was not properly maintained. A dirty heat exchanger causes the compressor to work harder and longer and significantly shortens its life span of the unit.

Bringing you effective and proven RV money saving tips - Jim Twamley, Professor of RVing

9 comments:

RoadScribe said...

Jim:
Thanks for posting this article. And yes I have this kind of unit that I would really like to maintain in my Jazz '05 25.5RL. Up in my location the cost is way over that to replace it. Please keep up with this kind of piece that will help us keep our rigs going.

Gordon & Juanita said...

Excellent and useful article and video Jim! Thanks for taking the time to put this together.

Anonymous said...

Jim, My AC unit is not on top, it's underneath. It's a condensor unit and it does not work. Any suggestions? It has three fans and is on a Ford E-350 chassis. The dash has regular AC but it's not enough to cool the whole RV. Should I consider a roof unit? And one more question... What is the possibility of putting a high wattage AC/DC inverter in and installing a 5,000 BTU window AC unit in the back? Thanks!

Paul Hanscom said...

This is an importance maintenance that many of us don't think about. Especially when we don't use our A/C very much. Thanks for the reminder and procedure.

Flair22 said...

Jim--two things.
First a suggestion -- get a wireless microphone. They're pretty cheap and you won't have to drag that wire around with you when you record the videos.
Second--a question: in the A/C maintenance video, why was the TV antenna cranked up vertical?
XLNT video, however, these short peices really help understand the subtleties of caring for your RV.
Thanks,
Keith Nichols

Eric said...

Chaps, Great video... thanks! I was also recommended by my RV maintenance guy to tighten up the mounting bolts on the inside of the coach since they can vibrate loose. His recommendation was just to test the torque a little every time I clean the filter. Seems like a good idea and one that I'll be doing tomorrow before we head off for a skiing weekend in a few days.

Anonymous said...

Water is the only way to clean coils Air is not a bad idea but not if you want the coils really clean

Anonymous said...

When I clean either my RV A/C or home A/C I spray on a detergent (Awesome brand from the Dollar store works great) let it stand about 15 minutes and then use a GENTLE spray of water from the garden hose. If you use too much air OR water pressure you will bend the thin aluminum fins and the efficiency of your A/C will drop dramatically.

Otherwise a good video.
thanks Jim

Anonymous said...

Be sure to check your AC a couple of times during cottonwood season due to the cottonwood fuzzies blowing all over. I spray water on an angle and it works great.

Hugh-Macomb, Mi.

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