Tips on how to clear window air conditioners, together with models with mould

  • A window air conditioner is nice for protecting your own home cool, however solely when it is working correctly.
  • It’s best to do a deep cleansing of your window unit yearly so that it’ll perform correctly.
  • In case you do not clear the coils, fins and inside usually, mould can develop inside your AC.

In case you’ve discovered that your window air conditioner is not cooling in addition to it used to or is producing a mildew, it could be time to provide your unit an intensive cleansing.

There are numerous advantages to cleansing your window AC usually. An intensive cleansing can enhance your unit’s cooling and vitality effectivity, guarantee it filters out extra allergens within the air, remove disagreeable odors, and prolong its lifespan with much less want for repairs. and inhibits mould progress.

I’ve examined and reviewed window air conditioners for 3 years due to our information to the most effective window ACs. For this text, I spoke to 2 HVAC contractors: Ray Bramble, proprietor of Bull Run’s Air Serve and Air Serv of Central Shenandoah Valley, and Vincent Drago, proprietor of Mini King in Westchester County, New York.

the way to clear window ac unit

It’s best to totally clear your window air conditioner at the least annually. The most effective time to scrub is simply earlier than setting it up for the season or proper after eradicating it as a result of you’ll be able to simply disassemble the unit.

Earlier than cleansing the AC, it’s best to at all times flip it off and unplug it. In case you can not unplug it, flip off the circuit breaker within the unit.

You will want the next supplies:

  • sizzling water
  • delicate detergent
  • cleansing fabric
  • Spray bottle with 3% hydrogen peroxide
  • fin comb or soft-bristle brush
  • screwdriver
  • protecting gloves (elective)
  • compressed air (elective)
  • Vacuum (elective)
  • AC coil cleaner (elective)


A person holds a soap filter for a window air conditioner.

Scorching water and cleaning soap are really helpful to scrub the AC filter.

James Braines / Insider

how typically: When the “Clear Filter” gentle is illuminated on the management panel or about as soon as a month

To scrub the filter, open your air conditioner’s entrance grille and take out the filter. Shake the filter exterior or use a handheld vacuum to take away particles. Then wash the filter with heat water and cleaning soap. Permit it to dry utterly earlier than reinstalling it.

coil and wings

A person sprays the front evaporator coils and fins with hydrogen peroxide.

Spray hydrogen peroxide on the wings and coils.

James Braines / Insider

how typically: Annual or as required

Cleansing the coils and fins is a part of a deep cleansing of your air conditioner. Each Drago and Bramble suggest cleansing your air conditioner exterior as a result of it may get messy.

Window air conditioners have two units of coils and fins: the condenser coil on the again and the evaporator coil on the entrance. Each may be accessed by eradicating your unit’s case.

To take away the case, you have to a screwdriver. “Take away any screws you see across the case, normally they are going to be larger in direction of the underside of the case,” Drago mentioned. When you take away the required screws, you’ll be able to take away the face/management panel of the unit and pull the case straight up.

Subsequent, use a vacuum or compressed air to take away any floor particles. It’s also possible to use a fin comb or a smooth bristle brush to evenly take away particles from the feathers.

For a extra thorough cleansing, cowl all electrical elements with plastic and use a sprig bottle with 3% hydrogen peroxide to spray down the fins and coils. Let the peroxide sit for about 10 minutes and spray it evenly with a water hose. “Very evenly,” mentioned Bramble. “You are not making an attempt to strain wash this factor as a result of you’ll be able to twist the wings.”


A dirty window air conditioner drip pan is displayed next to the cleaner drip pan.

Earlier than and after pictures of the preliminary cleansing of the drip pan utilizing a vacuum.

James Braines / Insider

how typically: Annual or as required

Cleansing the within is identical as cleansing the coils and fins. First, I like to make use of a handheld vacuum to take away as a lot particles as attainable, particularly particles that has gathered on the base of the air conditioner.

Subsequent, cowl all electrical elements with plastic to maintain moisture out. Then spray the inside with hydrogen peroxide. Drago stresses cleansing drain pans and fan blades as a result of these are areas the place mould can develop.

After letting it sit for about 10 minutes, spray the inside evenly along with your water hose. Maintain the unit at an angle to permit water and particles to empty. “Perhaps spray it yet another time and get none of that hydrogen peroxide,” Drago mentioned. “You do not wish to sit there and fly again throughout the room.”

the outside

how typically: annual

You’ll be able to clear the outside of your air conditioner with a moist fabric. For trapped particles, you can even use a light detergent and a soft-bristled brush. It can work nicely on the outer and facet curtains of the case.

the way to clear window ac unit from mould

Drago recommends a deep cleansing of your window AC unit should you uncover mould whereas following all of the steps outlined above. He mentioned the fan blade and drip pan are frequent locations the place mould types.

Drago emphasised the significance of utilizing hydrogen peroxide 3% to scrub the inside. “It ought to kill most issues,” he mentioned.

the way to clear window ac unit with out eradicating

The most secure method to totally clear your window air conditioner is to take away it from the window, however this is not at all times attainable. Thankfully, there are some cleansing duties you are able to do with the AC put in.

You’ll be able to clear the entrance evaporator coils by eradicating the filter and entrance grille of your window AC. Use compressed air to blow mud and particles off the fins. A soft-bristled brush or fin comb can even work so long as you’re light and do not twist the fins.

If you’ll be able to entry the AC from exterior, similar to, for instance, whether it is put in on the primary ground of a constructing, you’ll be able to clear the condenser coil. You need to use the dry technique described above or clear with water utilizing a sprig bottle or hose with a nozzle attachment. In case you use water, be certain the AC will not be working electrical energy and the water will drain out. In case your AC is at proper angles, the water ought to drain out.

Reassemble Your AC

Earlier than you reassemble your air conditioner, be certain it’s dry, particularly the filter. First, take away any plastic you might have used to cowl {the electrical} elements. Then match the case again onto the unit. Loosen screw in all screws. As soon as all of the screws are in place, you’ll be able to tighten them. Lastly, you’ll be able to reinstall the face/management panel and filter.

Insider Takeaway

Cleansing your window air conditioner will prolong its lifespan, be certain that it features correctly, and prevent cash in vitality prices. It may be a ache the primary time, however the extra acquainted you’re with the method, the simpler it is going to grow to be. Consider: An hour of exhausting work provides you with the coolness of summer season.

Supply hyperlink