How to Clean Window Air Conditioner Without Removing It

Everybody thanks window air conditioners once you are in the sweltering heat of the summer days. They help to regulate indoor temperatures, providing a comfortable and cool living environment. If your window AC unit is not cooling well as it once did then chances are that you need to give the machine a thorough cleaning.

Like all the machines in your house, your window AC unit needs cleaning and maintenance for it to last longer. Regularly cleaning a window AC unit allows it to operate efficiently and use less energy. It prevents unwanted mold and mildew from growing inside the unit which can lead to adverse health effects.


Why Clean Your Window AC Unit?

It is important to clean air conditioners for several reasons.

Improved air quality: Over time, air conditioners collect dust, dirt, and other pollutants. This can affect the quality of the air circulating in your home, leading to respiratory problems and allergies. Regular cleaning of air conditioners can help improve the air quality inside your home.

Increased efficiency: A dirty air conditioner has to work harder to cool the air. This means it consumes more energy and raises your electricity bill. Regular cleaning of air conditioners can increase their efficiency, reducing energy consumption and saving money.

Longer lifespan: Regular maintenance of air conditioners can help prolong their lifespan. Dirt in the air conditioner can cause damage to the system, leading to costly repairs or even replacement.

Prevents malfunctions: A dirty air conditioner can malfunction, causing it to stop working or produce uneven cooling. Regular cleaning of air conditioners can help prevent such malfunctions.

How to Clean Window AC Unit Without Removing It?

You might think you need to remove the AC unit to clean but there is an easier way. You can simply remove the external grill and clean out the essential parts. Saves you some time and confusion.

Before you start cleaning the unit make sure you have read the user’s manual for instructions to clean the AC. This will give you specific instructions on unscrewing the external grill and removing the filter. 

Follow these steps to clean a window AC unit:

Step 1: Turn off the power

Before you start cleaning, turn off the power supply to the AC unit. You can do this by unplugging it.

Step 2: Remove the external grill

Remove the front cover using a screwdriver.

Step 3: Remove the air filter

The air filter in your AC unit is usually located on the front panel of the unit. In some units, you can just simply pull it out and in others, you would need to open up the external grill. Clean the filter using a soft brush or a vacuum cleaner. If the filter is damaged or heavily soiled, put it in some soapy water and gently brush the dust off.

Step 4: Clean the front panel

Clean the external grill with a damp cloth or a soft brush to remove any dirt or debris. Be gentle and avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive materials that can damage the unit's surface.

Step 5: Clean the evaporator coils

The evaporator coils are responsible for cooling the air, and over time, they can get dirty, reducing the AC's efficiency. Locate the coils, and use a soft brush or a fin comb to clean the coils gently. Avoid using water or harsh chemicals as they can damage the coils. If the coils are heavily soiled, consider contacting a professional to clean them.

Step 6: Clean the condenser coils

The condenser coils are located at the back of the AC unit and can get dirty from dust or other debris. Use a soft brush or a fin comb to clean the coils gently. You can also use a vacuum cleaner to remove loose dirt or debris. Be careful not to bend the coils, as this can affect the AC's performance.

Step 7: Clean the drain pan

The drain pan is located underneath the evaporator coils and can collect dirt, dust, and other debris over time. To clean the drain pan, first, remove the front panel of the AC unit. Then, remove the drain pan and clean it using a soft brush or a cloth. You can also use a mixture of water and mild soap to remove any stubborn stains or debris.

Step 8: Check the drainage system

The drainage system in your AC unit is responsible for removing the condensation water produced by the evaporator coils. Check the drainage system for any clogs or blockages and clean them if necessary. You can also use a mixture of water and bleach to disinfect the drainage system and prevent mold growth.

Step 9: Reassemble the unit

Once you have cleaned all the components, put everything back in the AC and screw the grill back in. Remember to install the air filter back in its place and turn on the power supply to the unit.

Window AC units should be cleaned at least once a year, preferably before the start of the cooling season. This will help ensure that the unit operates efficiently and effectively, and can prevent problems like mold growth, clogged filters, and malfunctioning parts. In addition, if the unit is used frequently, it may need to be cleaned more often, especially if it is located in an area with high levels of dust or pollution.

Regular cleaning can also help extend the lifespan of the unit and improve indoor air quality. It's important to follow the manufacturer's instructions for cleaning and maintenance and to ensure that the unit is properly installed and vented to avoid any safety hazards or performance issues.