Plumbing, Heating and Pool Repair Guides

Window Air Conditioner Troubleshooting & Repair Guide


If you have a window air conditioner also known as a through the wall air conditioner and you are experiencing some kinds of trouble or problems with the unit you will need to first figure out what is wrong. You can figure out what the problem with your air conditioner is by doing something called “air conditioner troubleshooting”. Troubleshooting is a process of checking a number of things and then ruling them out one by one. So if you want to try to figure out why your air conditioner is not working you can use the scenarios below to help you troubleshoot and repair your window air conditioner.

The Air Conditioner Compressor Is Making Noise

If you turn on your air conditioner and you hear the compressor making noise this could mean that the air inside of the room that you are trying to cool is warmer then the thermostat setting. So what will happen is the air conditioner compressor will kick on and start to cool down the room. Now if your air conditioner compressor is constantly making noise this could mean that you need to clean the filter, the compressor is frozen up or simply the air conditioner is to small for the room and you need to get a unit with more BTU’s. But first check to make sure the filter is clean and the compressor is not frozen.

Air Conditioner Condenser Is Freezing Up & Full Of Ice

If the condenser coil on your air conditioner is frozen or full of ice you will want to shut it off and let all of the ice melt off. Once all of the ice is melted you will want to make sure you have a filter installed. This sometimes happens when the air outside is cooler then the air inside the area you are trying to cool.

How To Clean Your Air Conditioner Filter

Every wall mounted air conditioner unit has a filter to protect the condenser coil from dirt, dust and other debris. Every once and a while you will need to remove your air conditioner filter and wash it and then replace it. If you have an old style air conditioner usually the front door / panel of the unit will open up and swing out and then you can remove the filter. If you have a new air conditioning unit the filter will just slide out of the top front cover and then you can wash it off and slide it back into the A/C.

The Air Conditioner Unit Is Blowing The Circuit Breaker

If your air conditioner is blowing the circuit breaker and fuses there could be one of two things wrong. You air conditioner could be drawing more amps then the wiring circuit allows or your air conditioner might be bad and need to be replaced. Look on the sticker or in the instruction manual to see how many amps your through the wall air conditioner needs to run. Then once you do some make sure that the circuit breaker or fuse is equipped to handle that amperage load. For instance, if your air conditioning unit requires 15 amps to run, and you have a 20amp circuit breaker you will be okay, but if you have a 25 amp unit and a 20 amp breaker you will keep on popping and over loading the circuit. Then again you might just need to get a new more energy efficient air conditioner that will run on lower amps.

How To Seal Air Spaces Around The Air Conditioner

Once you have placed the air conditioner in your window and expanded the sides you may still have a few spaces around the unit that may let bugs and drafts into the room that you are trying to cool. What you can do is get some weather stripping or some old towels and shirts and fill in the areas around the window so you can prevent the warm air from the outside coming in. This will not only help you keep the area cooler but will make your air conditioner more efficient and save you money on cooling costs.

How To Adjust The Air Conditioner Thermostat & Temperature

If you want to adjust the temperature on your window air conditioner you can do so by turning the knob to “cooler” to make the room cooler, or you can turn in to “warmer” to make the room less cool. Some air conditioners will have numbers on them like 1 through 7. If you want the room to be cold you would turn the dial to the higher number which in this case would be 7 and then room would be cooler. If you turn the dial down to 1, then the room will be less cool. Some window a/c units also have digital touch button controls that will let you adjust the room temperature with just the touch of a temp up and down button.


  1. My Whirlpool window air unit insists on dripping to the inside…. despite that it has a healthy tilt to the outside; has additional weep holes drilled in the very outside corners; is clean inside the unit with no debris or material to clog the flow; etc. The floor of the unit and the gulley that I suppose is intended to channel the drip flow, when viewed from the outside appear to be dry… with the drip coming to the inside instead. The filter is cleaned regularly and I believe the unit is maintained as it should be. Any ideas?

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