Here comes the sun! Are you ready to soak it up and take life outdoors? Cross these DIY projects off your weekend to-do list to help you keep your cool during the best season of the year.
Clean and Repair Window Screens
Before you throw open the windows to catch spring breezes, show your windows screens some TLC. Chances are winter storms and spring pollen left them filled with gunk and dust so give each screen a good spring cleaning.
Start by removing screens from the windows and lining them up outside—the patio or driveway is a great spot for this project. (Pro tip: tag each screen so you can easily keep track of which screen goes back in which window). Mix warm water and a squirt of dish soap in a bucket, then gently scrub the screening and sides of each screen with a soft bristled brush. Rinse with a hose and let dry before returning each screen to its window.
While you are washing the screens, examine each one carefully for rips or tears. Minor damage can be fixed with Frost King’s Self-Attaching Screen Patches, which come in a choice of aluminum or fiberglass. These act as a band-aid for minor holes or tears in screens: just carefully place the patch over the damaged area and press into place. If screens are badly damaged or missing, our W.B. Marvin Adjustable Window Screens are an easy and budget-friendly replacement. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes to fit any widow, and have easy-gliding steel rails for fingertip adjustment.
Tune Up the Central Air
With hotter days ahead, now’s the time to make sure your air conditioning system is in tip-top shape. If your AC unit needs repairs, it’s time to call in the pros, but cleaning and basic maintenance are a job a handy DIYer can tackle.
Start by shutting off the power to the condenser at the service panel and at the disconnect box near the unit, and turning the thermostat to “Off.” If you covered your outdoor HVAC unit with one of our Central Air Conditioner Units (you did remember to do that, right?), remove it; rinse the cover and let it dry thoroughly, then store to use again next winter. Next, remove the sides and top panel of the unit and check for leaves, dirt or debris that got lodged in the unit over the winter. Using a refrigerator coil brush or the soft brush attachment on your vacuum, gently clean the coils. Next, clear any leaves and debris from the base of the condenser and make sure the drain is clear. Vacuum the fan blades, and clear away any grass or weeds that are growing around the base of the unit.
Before replacing the sides and cover, check the coolant lines to make sure they are not clogged. Then test the unit by turning the power back on at the disconnect box and the service panel, and switching the thermostat to “Cool.” And while you’re at it, check your HVAC filters and replace if needed.
Clean and Install Window Units
If you rely on window units to cool your home, they need special attention before being re-installed in your windows.
Wash the exterior and grills of the unit with warm, soapy water, then remove the front cover and gently brush the aluminum fins inside the AC and clean the coils; a can of compressed air makes easy work of this job. Once that’s done, clean the drip tray and make sure the drain is clear of debris. Let everything dry before you put it all back together and install the unit in your window.
For safety, your AC should be mounted with brackets that will keep it from falling out the window. Watch this video for easy step-by-step directions on how to install Frost King Air Conditioner Brackets to ensure your unit is safely supported in the window:
Our small bracket can support a unit that weighs up to 80 pounds while the large bracket can support larger window units that weigh up to 160 pounds.
The best thing you can do to prolong the life of your window unit is to keep the filter clean. Our washable and reusable Air Conditioner Filters make this job easier – just rinse the filter in warm, soapy water once a month. And when the time comes for a new filter, our filters can be cut to size to fit any unit. Frost King also offers a line of accessories to keep your window units humming all summer long, including Air Conditioner Weatherseal that helps your AC cool more efficiently in the summer and self-stick Side Panels to fill any gaps between the AC unit and the window frame. We even have an ingenious Air Conditioner Drip Cushion that stops the annoying sound of water dripping on your air conditioner from the unit above.