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Amana PTAC Maintenance & Cleaning: A Reference Guide

Amana ptac maintenance

When it comes to PTACs, Amana is one of the most popular brands. Amana PTACs are quiet and efficient, proudly made in the USA, and have been a trusted name in the world of AC units for years. In fact, Amana PTACs units are common fixtures in hotels, nursing homes, offices, college dorms, and apartment buildings.

But like any indoor appliance, your Amana PTAC unit requires routine cleaning and maintenance to ensure maximum efficiency and a long lifespan. Dirty or clogged PTAC parts not only hinder your unit’s performance, they can pose a dangerous fire or electric shock hazard if left unattended for too long. We receive frequent questions from customers on how to safely maintain their PTAC units, and so we’ve decided to put together a comprehensive resource guide, based on Amana’s own instructions, on how to clean and care for your Amana PTAC.

Monthly Maintenance

Monthly maintenance of your Amana PTAC is a fairly simple process, and, for the most part, all a matter of making sure your unit’s filters and vents are clean. Follow the instructions below:

Air Filters

A PTAC unit’s air filters are responsible for collecting and trapping dust, dirt, and other allergens, to ensure the air in the room remains clean and safe to breathe. Understandably, this means the air filters get dirty pretty fast. We have previously written instructions on how to clean your air conditioner filters, and the process is fairly similar for all AC units, across the board.

Screen shot 2015-05-04 at 8.25.21 PM

1. Remove your unit’s filters by pulling them up and out the front of the unit, as shown in the graphic above. 

2. Run the filters under the tap and let dry completely on a towel before inserting the filters back into the unit. 

3. Alternatively, you can use a vacuum to clean lint, dust, and dirt from the filter.

Washable filters should be cleaned at least once a month. If you notice any damage such as tears in the filter, replace it immediately to avoid dirt and contaminants getting into the unit and compromising your health and the operation of the PTAC.

Amana PTAC units equipped with a digital board can also indicate whether the air filter is dirty and due for cleaning. If the filter needs to be cleaned, the green “Status Light” will light up.

If the filter is cleaned and the light remains lit, it could indicate a different issue that can only be solved by an HVAC professional. 

The Vent Screen

The vent is the optional part of the unit where the unit pulls in fresh air from outside. Over time vents can become dirty or clogged by environmental debris. 

1. Before cleaning the vent screen, disconnect the power by unplugging the power cord or by turning off the residence’s fuse box or circuit breaker. 

Because the process of cleaning the vent screen involves removing the cabinet front and working with parts inside the unit, disconnecting the power is an extremely important safety measure.

Screen shot 2015-05-04 at 8.26.10 PM

2. To remove the cabinet front, grab from the bottom and lift out and up, as if opening the trunk of a car (pictured below). Sometimes, but not on all models, the cabinet front is secured with a screw, so check and see how your cabinet front is attached before you attempt to remove it (to, you know, avoid frustration).

Screen shot 2015-05-07 at 7.06.51 PM

3. Once the cabinet front is lifted, the chassis (which is essentially the “guts” of your AC) will be exposed. Unscrew the chassis and carefully slide it out of the wall sleeve until the vent screen is accessible.

4. Clean with a duster or a vacuum.

5. Reverse this process to put your Amana PTAC back together.

Outdoor Discharge Area

To ensure smooth function of your Amana PTAC, check the outdoor area of the PTAC each month. 

  • Clear any foreign objects or debris clinging to the outside housing.
  • Trim grass or weeds growing near the unit.
  • Make sure it is not obstructed by bushes or fencing.

Amana recommends keeping at least two feet of clear space around the unit.

Cabinet Front & Discharge Air Grille

The PTAC is housed in a cabinet, which can get dusty and grimy over time, along with the air grille. Thankfully, this part is easy. 

1. Unplug the PTAC before cleaning the cabinet and grille.

2. Wipe down your PTAC’s cabinet front and discharge air grille with a dampened cloth to keep the exterior of your unit dust-free and clean. 

Do NOT, under any circumstances, use hydrocarbon-based cleaners (acetone, benzene, naphtha gasoline, etc.), ammonia-based cleaners, or coil cleaners not specifically designed for use for PTAC products. These substances will damage and cause deterioration of the aluminum fin or coil material. Instead, use a mild biodegradable detergent, or simply warm water.

3. Be careful not to get any water on the unit’s control board or other electrical components while cleaning.

4. Ensure the PTAC and grille have been wiped completely dry before plugging it back in.

Yearly Maintenance

A deep clean of the Amana PTAC unit is much more involved than the monthly maintenance. This procedure should be performed at least once a year.

Yearly maintenance includes cleaning the wall sleeve and checking the wall sleeve’s caulking and level, thoroughly cleaning the base pan and condenser coil, and performing a clearance check to ensure your unit is operating properly and safely. 

However, certain environmental factors may require your unit to be deep cleaned more frequently, every quarter. These include:

  • Urban locations that get much traffic, where smog and exhaust can clog the vent
  • Dusty construction zones
  • Coastal areas
  • Rural environments where spores and fungi can build up inside the unit
  • Extreme weather conditions

Because this deep cleaning involves working with critical non user-serviceable parts of your PTAC unit, the annual maintenance should be conducted by a professional HVAC technician. This is important for both your own safety and for the safety of the unit. 

Most areas where PTACs are common (apartments, hotels, office buildings, etc.) will employ their own maintenance staff, but check-in with your super at least once a year to make sure cleaning and inspection will take place as scheduled. If you do not reside in a building with a maintenance staff, contact a qualified local service tech.All service contractors are required to follow the cleaning and inspection instructions located in the Amana PTAC manual.

When to Contact an HVAC Professional 

Amana PTAC units are equipped with a diagnostic board. If the system detects a failure, there will be a green light constantly lit up under the OFF button on the digital board. 

In most cases, this indicates a dirty filter that needs to be cleaned or replaced. If the light remains lit after cleaning, the PTAC may need additional cleaning or maintenance of the evaporator or condenser coils.

If the light still doesn’t go out, contact an HVAC technician to diagnose the problem. Only an HVAC professional can activate the Diagnostic and Status mode to view any active codes.

Amana recommends performing filter and coil cleaning before calling for service.

If you have any further questions regarding the cleaning and maintenance of your PTAC unit, please do not hesitate to contact us and speak to one of our qualified salespeople. Total Home Supply is an Amana Preferred Dealer.

Other Amana PTAC resources:

Amana PTAC Buying Guide

How to Start a Run Test on an Amana PTAC Unit

How to do a Manual Reset on an Amana PTAC Unit

Mickey Luongo

Mickey is the resident heating and air conditioning expert with over 15 years of experience in the industry.

5 thoughts on “Amana PTAC Maintenance & Cleaning: A Reference Guide”

  1. 2015 AC Buying Guide: This Year's Top Units says:

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  2. 2016 AC Buying Guide - Best Air Conditioning Units says:

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  3. Michael Sonja says:

    I work for a ptac cleaning company we do service work for hotels. Is there an over the counter coil cleaner that will have the same power that the ultra be clean that we use does?

  4. Carlton Larret says:

    When replacing the air filters after cleaning them for an Amana PTAC unit, does the “smooth” side of the air filter face the front (toward the room intake) and the side with the “ridged” plastic frame protruding face the rear, toward the wall?

  5. C m corbett says:

    Yes as the above question asks. Which way is the filter supposed to go. Does the molded grab part face toward the front of the unit or the back. Thank you

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