AC units

Boat Maintenance Special:

By Capt. Bill Pike

AC filterHot and Cold

The Marine Air system on the Betty Jane is 25 years old and still going like gangbusters—I’ve never had to recharge it, primarily because there are no integral hoses or other flexible connections to leak as there are with residential machines. I do a couple of things to keep my system in tip-top form, however. First, I use expensive 3M Filtrete filters on the intake vents for both of the self-contained units onboard and change them every month or so. This keeps my evaporator coils clean so they can most efficiently transfer heat and minimize stress on electrics. And second, I keep the fins of the evaporator and condenser coils in original condition (or close to it) with an air-conditioning comb (one of the niftiest is manufactured by Titan Tools and available at for $8.95), a device that straightens the easily bent or crushed aluminum fins of the coils like a comb passing through hair. Again, maximizing efficiency (while reducing stress on electrical components) is the point here.

A Sea Flush is great for freshwater-flushing generators and AC units. A Sea Flush is great for freshwater-flushing generators and AC units.

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