Question about Frigidaire FAH086N1T Thru-Wall/Window Air Conditioner

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Frigidaire FAH086N1T Thru-Wall/Window Air Conditioner

When I turn on my window unit, it rattles for a short while and then eventually smooths out.

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Clean your return air filter, and while you have the front cover off you may want to clean the evaporator as well (it's the silver grill looking thing) some compressors come off their springs during transport and will rattle for years but still work fine.

Posted on Aug 07, 2007

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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If the unit has been working fine for a long time and then you suddenly have this issue, the angle you have the unit set at is probably fine, but you probably have a blockage of dirt/mud/sludge/whatever that is keeping it from draining properly. Here's what you have to do...

For safety... turn the unit OFF and UNPLUG IT.
Open the front gate and remove the air filter. Next, remove the entire front gate from the unit (probably at least one screw to remove first - mine was in the middle, just under wher the bottom of the air filter sits). With the gate removed you should have access to locate your blockage problem.

There is a hole that allows the water to drain from the front of the unit (the part that is inside your house) to the back of the unit (the part that hangs outside your house) and eventually out of a drain hole in the rear. Chances are that this hole is clogged. So, when the water fills up in the front drip tray it has no access to drain to the back. Consequently, the water builds up in the fan area which causes the rattling noise and the water being picked up by the fan and blown out of the vent. If left too long, it will overflow the front drip tray and make a mess in your house.

On my unit, the hole was on the far left side (if your are in your house and facing the AC unit) of the drip tray. You can use a piece of coathanger wire, or some other long thin instrument to push the blockage through to the rear. Once this pathway from the front of the unit to the back of the unit is clear, your problem should be solved. You will probably still get the sound and water sputter out of the front for a little while until the water that is in the fan area drains/dries out, but it should return to normal soon.

It is probably best to actually remove the unit from the window and take the cover off of it and really clean it out, but that is obviously a much more involved task. If you have a hose, that's fine and will help. Water won't hurt the unit - just keep it away from the electronics (the controls/display/cord). You should also be carful not to bend any of the tiny metal fins... that's just as bad as (actually worse than) being blocked by dirt/dust. And obviously, allow the unit to dry before you put the cover back on and put it back in your window and plug it in to run it. If you are willing to put in the extra time and effort, you can do a more thorough cleaning job, which would help to prevent the problem from happening again too soon. There's no way to prevent dirt/dust from building up in the unit. Once water/moisture is added to the mix, you're dealing with mud/sludge, which is going to eventually block that small drain path. The only solution is to clean it out once in a while.

I figured this out the hard way. I took the thing out of the window cleaned it (not as thoroughly as I thought) and put it back in and then did it all again. The third time I actually found the hole that was blocked. If it hadn't been such a pain taking it all apart and cleaning it the first two times I would have laughed at myself for missing it.

Good luck! Hope this helps!

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