Skip to content

How to Clean Your Air Conditioner

    Air conditioners are one of the most important appliances that a household can have. Aside from the obvious benefits of temperature control, they also condition the air that circulates in your home to ensure it is of the highest quality. Similar to any other major appliance, keeping it clean is key to ensuring its longevity and efficiency.

    Some HVAC experts have observed that seemingly simple issues like dirty filters can reduce an air conditioner’s capacity by as much as 40%. This makes your unit work harder than it needs to and contributes significantly to higher electricity charges, not to mention the environmental impact as well.

    To keep your power bills and carbon footprint to a minimum while remaining comfortable at home, here’s how to clean your air conditioner properly:

    Preparing to Clean Your Air Conditioner

    To get started with cleaning your air conditioner, schedule at least half a day to ensure enough time to complete the process. Some of the basic tools and materials you’ll be needing include a soft brush, face mask, screwdriver, cleaning solution, soap, hot water, gloves, rags, and a pressure washer or hose.

    Split Type Air Conditioners

    White split unit ac attached to wall

    Air conditioning cleaning should be done at least once a month, however sometimes it is necessary to clean the filters more often in dusty or polluted environments. Before you clean your split-type unit, be sure to switch off the power for both the indoor and outdoor components. Place a cleaning bag around your indoor unit to catch any dirt and debris to prevent a mess in your home. Remove the front panel and vacuum the air filters, which should then be rinsed and dried before reinstalling. Next, clean the unit’s coils by spraying them with coil cleaner and let them sit for 20 minutes. It’s also best to invest in an antifungal spray to prevent mold growing. Wait for everything to dry before using your unit again.

    Your air conditioner’s outside unit should be cleaned as well. Turn off and unplug the outside unit before going in with a vacuum cleaner to get rid of the trapped dust and dirt. Wear your gloves before carefully straightening and combing through the fins and rinsing them through along with the inner fan. After every component of your outdoor unit has dried, reinstall them carefully and switch on your air conditioner to test that it is working properly.

    Window Type Air Conditioners

    White wall unit ac attached to window

    Similar to split-type units, cleaning window-type air conditioners will require switching off and unplugging the appliance to ensure safety. Unscrew the air conditioner’s front panel and remove the filter before running the panel under warm water to rinse it free of dust and other debris. Use your vacuum hose attachment to dislodge any grime build-up. Shake off excess water, dry it with a clean towel, and then allow your filter to air dry before placing it back into the unit. Wipe down and spray your front panel with a hydrogen peroxide solution and allow that to dry as well before covering your unit once more.

    For seasonal deep cleaning, take your soft brush and comb through the aluminum fins in the unit. You can then spray around the fins, coils, and motor using condensed air to remove any dust; a soft brush is a great alternative for this step if condensed air isn’t available. Use your vacuum hose attachment to remove any remaining debris from the air-conditioning unit’s interior. Lastly, do a final spray, scrub, and wipe down before letting the unit dry completely so you can reassemble it.

    Regularly maintaining your air-conditioning unit is essential for it to keep your home cool and comfortable, and regular cleaning is one of the best ways to do this. Whether you’ve got a split-type model or a window-type air conditioner, knowing the warning signs of a dirty filter can help you stay on top of your air conditioner cleaning schedule. By taking good care of your air conditioner, you can also improve its performance and extend its lifespan.

    Exclusively written for
    By: Rilla Jesse