Home Hacks

How To Clean A Window Air Conditioner

With summer having just begun and many days of sweltering weather yet to come, having a window air conditioner can be a godsend.  Although the air conditioner is made for those hot summer days, it does not mean that they won’t take their toll on it.  For your air conditioner to work at top efficiency and have a long-lasting life, the homeowner must properly clean it.

What many assume is a daunting process is not as hard as they think.

First, you will need to gather the necessary materials for the cleaning.  These items will include:

  • Warm water
  • Detergent or mild soap
  • A cloth that is reusable
  • A drip tray for placing beneath the unit
  • Spray bottle containing 3% hydrogen peroxide
  • A brush with soft bristles
  • Can of compressed air
  • Screwdriver

Image: All Time Air Conditioning

The first step in the process is the cleaning of the filter.  This step is the most crucial maintenance you can perform to ensure that your air conditioner continues to operate at peak performance.  Even if you only clean the actual air conditioner itself a few times, make sure to clean the filter monthly.  Replacing the filter regularly is also a good plan.

Next, you will need to wipe down the grill and the air conditioner’s exterior, using the mild detergent in warm water.  Pay close attention to thoroughly cleaning between the gaps where the air escapes.

Third, you will need to dust off the inner coils of the unit.  This step does not need to be done every time you clean the air conditioner. However, most manufacturers suggest the process be done semi-annually if not quarterly.  Using the soft bristle brush, take your time and diligently clean every part of the coils as best you can.  Follow the brush up with a good spray from the can of condensed air.

Next, remove the drip pan and clean it really well.  At this time, it is best to make sure that nothing is blocking the drain line and causing water buildup within the unit.

Finally, replace all the panels and the drip pan, and give the entire outside of the unit a good spray with the bottle of hydrogen peroxide.  Spraying the unit will go a long way to heading off any buildup of mold or mildew.