How to Clean an Air Conditioner

two air conditioning units on the side of a building
What You'll Need
Fin comb
Hose or spray bottle
Air conditioner cleaner
Soft rag

It is essential that you know how to clean your air conditioner in order to help boost its efficiency and extend its life span. When an air conditioner is dirty and not cleaned frequently, it utilizes more power to run which increases your electricity costs. The most likely parts of the unit that will require cleaning are the condenser, filter, and coils. Regular cleaning can be done once a month. However, if you have pets or live in a dusty area, you may need to clean it more frequently. The following guide will help you clean your air conditioner.

Step 1 - Turn off Power

Before you begin cleaning, make sure you turn off the power to your air conditioner. Unplug it from the power outlet. This is a safety measure recommended when cleaning electrical appliances. It will prevent any accidental electrical shocks from occurring.

Step 2 - Remove Front Grille

Use a screwdriver to take off the grille at the front.

Step 3 - Remove Filter and Inspect

dirty air conditioner filter

Reach inside the air conditioner for the filter. Once you remove it, the condenser coils will become exposed. Carefully inspect the filter for any slits or other signs of wear and tear. If the filter is damaged in any way, you are better off replacing it as a damaged filter will impair efficiency.

Step 4 - Clean the Filter

Use a vacuum to clean the filter. Do not apply too much pressure on the filter as this may cause damage. After vacuuming, use a garden hose to rinse off any residual dirt from the filter. Clean both sides with water. Place the filter somewhere to dry well. Fit it back into the air conditioner once dry and after cleaning the inside.

Step 5 - Vacuum the Air Conditioner

Use a vacuum to get rid off all dust and dirt accumulated inside the air conditioner. Pay particular attention to the coils.

Step 6 - Clean the Coils

Spray some air conditioner cleaner onto the coils and allow it to work for the recommended time as indicated under the instructions for use.

Step 7 - Rinse the Coils

using a hose to spray off air conditioner grill

Use a garden hose or spray bottle to rinse off the cleaner. Make sure all the cleaner is removed.

Step 8 - Dry

Use a soft rag to dry the coils. You may also use the vacuum or a hair dryer for quick drying.

Step 9 - Straighten Coil Fins

Inspect the coils for any damage. Use a fin comb to straighten out those that may be bent. Be careful as you clean because the fins are delicate and can get easily damaged if too much pressure is applied while cleaning.

Step 10 - Replace Grille

Return the front grille onto the air conditioner.

Step 11 - Plug

Put the plug back into the power outlet. Turn on the switch. Your air conditioner is now clean and ready to give you excellent service.