If you’re like most people, you probably don’t clean your window air conditioner very often or possibly avoid cleaning it at all. If you don’t make sure to clean your window AC unit regularly, it could allow mold to start growing and negatively affect the air quality inside your home. The unit also won’t work nearly as efficiently or effectively if you don’t take the time to ensure it is clean. It is important to give the unit a thorough cleaning at the start and end of every cooling season, but you should also clean it at least once a month during the summer. To make this task easier, here is everything you need to know about cleaning your window AC without taking it out of the window.
1. Remove and Wash the Cover
Before getting started, it is important to unplug the unit so that it can’t accidentally turn on while you’re cleaning it. Once you’ve unplugged the power cord, start by removing the cover from the front of the unit. On most units, the cover should simply pop off, but it may also be held into place with a few screws. Take the cover and wash it in warm, soapy water to remove any dirt, dust, and grime. Then, set the cover aside to dry.
2. Wash or Replace the Filter
The next step is to take out the filter and either wash or replace it depending on what type of filter the unit uses. This task should be done at least once every four to six weeks and potentially more often if you live in a dusty area. If the unit has a washable filter, you should first vacuum it. This will help to get rid of as much dirt and dust as you can. Next, take a rag with warm, soapy water and gently wash the filter until it is fully clean. Then, set it somewhere to dry.
3. Clean the Inside of the Unit
After cleaning the filter, use your vacuum to suck as much dirt and dust out of the inside of the unit as you can. Next, use the brush attachment on your vacuum to clean the evaporator coils and the fins inside the unit. After vacuuming everything inside of the unit, use a can of condensed air to loosen any remaining dirt and dust, and then vacuum one final time.
When cleaning the fins, be careful not to bend or damage them. If you do bend any fins, use a screwdriver to push them back in place carefully. Don’t try to bend them back by hand as they can be extremely sharp and could easily cut you.
4. Wash the Drain Pan and the Outside of the Unit
After the inside of the unit is fully clean, carefully remove the drain pan and wash it with soapy water to get rid of any mildew and mineral deposits. Next, take your soapy rag and wipe down the entire front and outside of the unit making sure to get into all the little cracks and holes.
There may be a small amount of water in the pan when you take it out. If there is a lot of water in the pan, this could indicate that the system isn’t draining properly and that the condensate drain line needs to be cleaned or unclogged.
5. Clean the Exterior Part of the Unit
Now that you have cleaned the entire part of the unit that sits inside the house, it is time to head outside to finish off the job. The easiest way to clean the exterior part of the unit is to take a hose and run water through it for a few minutes. Most units will have a small hole at the top for the water to go into and another hole at the bottom for the water to drain out. Before turning on the water, you might want to put towels around the window and on the floor to catch any water that drips inside. Turn the hose on and flush the unit until the water comes out of the bottom, looking clean and free of any dirt.
6. Disinfect and Reassemble the Unit
The last steps are to disinfect the unit and reassemble it once everything is fully dry. To disinfect it, simply spray some hydrogen peroxide on the filter, cover, and the entire inside of the unit. If you had already put the filter and cover back into place, just remove them again. Spray all the parts, and wait until they dry. Then, replace the cover and filter. The hydrogen peroxide helps to prevent mold and mildew from potentially growing.
Air Conditioning Experts
If you have any questions about your home’s air conditioning system, TS Heat & Air is always here to help. We offer repair and maintenance services for all types of cooling systems. We also specialize in AC and heating installation, indoor air quality, and air purification. Our company is located in Bethany and we serve most communities in the Oklahoma City area. Give us a call today if you have any questions or need to schedule an appointment.