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What's the frugal thing to do with a mildewy window A/C unit?

saturnine23 84 26 October 10, 2015 at 10:57 AM in Home & Home Improvement (4)
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We live on the 2nd and 3rd floors of a woodframe house, so in the summertime we have to get rid of all that rising heat. (The 3rd floor is a finished attic that we use as our main bedroom.) As un-frugal as it sounds, we've found that keeping an A/C on 24/7 keeps the entire house cooler.

Of course, that means our window unit racks up work hours like nobody's business. We've had this particular window until for a few years now, and this year it really exploded with mildew. We tried cleaning it as best we could at the beginning of the summer, but we can't get the case off the exterior of the A/C, because one of the screws is fused with rust. By the end of the summer, it was gross with mildew all over again. We love going DIY whenever we can, but in this case it seems we're just not equipped to get the job done ourselves.

My question is: Are there any stores/services/common small businesses/etc. that would do a thorough disassembly, cleaning, and tune-up on a window unit like ours? Does anybody ever pay to maintain window units? Or are they one of those stupid appliances that are cheaper to replace outright than to maintain/repair? (Like mini fridges.)

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#2
Have you tried just spraying bathroom mildew cleaner like tilex in it? Also spray all around wherever you see mildew. I would not pay to have it cleaned.
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#3
break that screw off and clean it with bleach and water. once a week, turn it off and spray a bleach and water mixture in the air intake and where the air blows out. let it sit a few minutes, then turn it back on.
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