How to Clean A Room Air Conditioner

How to Clean A Room Air Conditioner

An air conditioner works more efficiently when the evaporator and condenser coils or cooling fins are clean and the fins are straight.

The Tools You Will Need

  • 4-in-1 screwdriver
  • Fin comb
  • Leather gloves
  • Rags
  • Shop vacuum
  • Air conditioner coil cleaner
  • Electric motor oil
  • Household cleaner or bleach

How to Clean Your Air Conditioner Unit

Most people assume warm air from their air conditioning unit means it is a bit  low on refrigerant (the chemical compound used in your air conditioner). But that is not always the case. Many times, window and through-the-wall air conditioner units can’t blow any cold air because the evaporator and condenser coils or cooling fins are clogged with dirt.

The air conditioner coils and fins help the evaporators inside the house and the condensers outside absorb and release heat. This process of moving heat is vital, but layers of dust and dirt can impede it. If you never check your coils, your air conditioner can be less efficient and ultimately cost you a packet. Simply put you must clean your air conditioner regularly and make sure your coils and fins are clean and free of dirt.

Remember before you start any cleaning turn off the power to the air conditioner


Step 1

Firstly, remove the plastic filter holder/trim panel. It usually just snaps off.  Remove the unit from the window or simply slide it out off the wall. You may require an extra pair of hands as it’s pretty heavy.

If you are cleaning a window A/C unit, remove the mounting frame and then the case. The case screws are usually located along the bottom edge of the unit. Don’t forget to take note of what screw goes where as your air conditioner mat not fully work properly if you don’t.

Step 2

Combing Out the Mats

Straighten the bent cooling fins with the fin comb, then match the correct end of the air conditioner fin comb to the fin spacing on your coils. Then insert the air conditioner fin comb and pull up to straighten out the fins.  We would advise to wear clothes as you can potentially cut your hands. You will need a fin comb this

Step 3

Cleaning Out The Dirt

You will need 2 two cans of  air conditioner unit coil cleaner but before you can apply any cleaner you will need to vacuum any visible build up of dirt and dust from both coils.

Step 4

Clean the AC Drain Pan

You can use soap and hot water and a bit of bleach. We recommend a 50/50 mixture of bleach and water. Pour the solution down the drain to make sure it’s clear. If you want a longer-term way to keep your drain from growing algae, you can purchase AC drain pan tablets at most home improvement and hardware stores.

Step 5

Apply The Foam Cleaner

Spray over the entire surface of both the coils and let the foam settle and do it’s work

If there is too much dirt to shift simply brush in the direction of the fins with a nylon-bristle brush.

Step 6

While the foam does it work, take that time to clean the fan blades with a household cleaner and a rag. Then it could be a good idea to top up the fan motor oil with a few drops of electric motor oil. Finally, simply wash or if required replace, the air filter and then reinstall the unit. And hey presto it should start blowing cooler air again!

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Keywording How to Clean A Room Air Conditioner

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