Amana PTAC Maintenance & Cleaning: A Reference Guide
Amana PTACs are some of the most popular items we sell here at Total Home Supply, and for good reason: quiet and efficient, Amana PTACs are made in the USA and have been a trusted name in the world of AC units for years. An especially popular choice among hotel owners, Amana PTACs are also common fixtures in nursing homes, offices, college dorms, and apartment buildings.
Like any indoor appliance, your 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 but can also pose a dangerous fire and/or electric shock hazard if left unattended for too long. We receive frequent questions from customers about how to go about properly (and safely) maintaining 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 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. Here’s how to do it:
A 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 AC filters, and the process is fairly similar for all AC units, across the board.
Remove your unit’s filters by pulling them up and out the front of the unit, as shown in the graphic above. Run the filters under the tap and let dry completely on a towel before inserting the filters back into the unit. Using a vacuum to clean lint, dust, and dirt from the filters is an effective method, as well.
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.
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). Ideally, a filter is not cleaned but replaced.
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, then clean with a duster or a vacuum. Reverse this process to put your PTAC back together.
Cabinet Front & Discharge Air Grille
This part’s easy. Every so often, 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. As an added safety precaution, unplug the unit before doing this, and be careful not to get any water on the unit’s control board or other electrical components while cleaning.
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.
A “deep clean” and inspection of your PTAC unit should be conducted once a year. Certain environmental factors may require your unit to be deep cleaned more frequently, and if you reside near a dusty construction site or sea coast, for example, you should schedule inspection and thorough maintenance four times a year. Other local conditions can cause fungi to build up in the unit, and when such material dries around the inner workings of your PTAC it poses a fire hazard. Familiarize yourself with the kinds of spores and other airborne particles that can cause foreign material build-up in your area, and schedule deep cleaning maintenance accordingly.
Because this deep cleaning involves working with the most intricate parts of your PTAC unit, yearly maintenance should be conducted by a professional service person. This is important for both your own safety and for the safety of the unit. Most residences 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 person.
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. All service people are required to follow the cleaning and inspection instructions located in the Amana PTAC manual.
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.