AeroElectric Connection

Bob's Shop Notes:
UpArmoring your Air Conditioning

June 4, 2020

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It's that time of year again. Servicing the air-conditioners in our neck of the woods can be an exercise in frustration and much mumbling of language unsuitable for grandkids. An indigenous spider species produces great wads of fine web that makes a cotton ball look like a pot scrubber. The stuff blows in the wind with significant wads of it winding up . . . yeah . . . on the fins of your A.C. coils. This fluff can seriously impede the flow of air in less than a season and is exceedingly hard to clean out!

I have two, 5000 BTU window units that cool my 650 sq-ft, mess-making shop on the back of the garage. For the past three years or so, I've been wrapping the air-intake vents on these little machines with a filter material I found on eBay.

A 10' x 12" roll of the stuff is about $10 delivered to my door. One roll wraps the outside of the two machines with a useful bit left over. It cuts easily with a good pair of scissors. Click Here for Larger Image

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I secure the filters over the intake vents with super-magnets . . . also acquired on eBay. You'll need about 18 for a small window unit . . . 24 for a larger one.

A rancher friend has been similarly up-armoring his whole-house window unit with this technique.

One can add protection for the evaporator coils as well using the left over filter material . . .

I fabricated 'filter boxes' out of aluminum extrusion assembled with aluminum solder I bought in the OSH Fly Market about 30 years ago. The frame is deep enough to hold a double layer of the filter material. I pop-riveted it to the bezel on the window unit.

I am starting my 4th cooling season with this enhancement to my Walmart special window units. Both evaporator and condenser coils are still clean and maintenance free.

When I winterize the shop air conditioners, the outside wrap will be heavy with 'stuff' that is NOT inside the air conditioner. The inside filters will have been taken out of position and blown out several times with an air hose producing a cloud of more stuff that is NOT inside the air conditioner.

Not very 'aviation' related but if you've got rivets to buck or terminals to crimp, you'll do a better job if you're not constantly wiping sweat from your eyes! Even better if you don't have to wash/blow/carve the crud out of your cooling equipment every year.

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