Your heating and cooling unit is probably one of the most essential appliances in your home. It helps to keep the air in your house cool during the summer and other hot months. Besides keeping the air in the home cool, this appliance helps to keep the air inside of your residence fresh. Therefore, you should focus on keeping it clean and professionally maintained for maximum output.

What Are the Benefits of a Clean Air Conditioner?

Generally, you should clean your AC unit at least once every three months. Cleaning the AC unit helps to:

  • Prolong its lifespan
  • Reduce energy consumption
  • Eliminate musty odors
  • Improve indoor air quality
  • Enhance cooling efficiency

How Do You Clean Your Window Air Conditioning Unit?

Cleaning your air conditioner can be complex, but by following the proper steps, you can accomplish this task yourself. First, you need to have a detailed understanding of what you’re doing to avoid damaging the unit. Here are 14 critical steps to follow when cleaning your window air conditioner.

1. Get the Right Protective Gear

First, you’ll need to put on some protective gear. The chemicals that are used in the process of cleaning air conditioning units can have adverse effects on your skin and eyes. Therefore, you must protect yourself before starting the process. Also, you must ensure that all the dirt is not blown toward you as you clean. It will help if you put on a mask, gloves, and some old clothes that you won’t mind ruining. You should also cover your hair to keep it from getting in the way.

2. Consult the Manual

Every air conditioning unit is different. Therefore, cleaning an AC unit will vary from one model to the next. Most heating and cooling manufacturers provide a manual that outlines how you should go about the whole process. We recommend that you take some time to read the manual before starting to clean your air conditioner. This will help you avoid cleaning your unit the wrong way.

3. Unplug Your AC Unit

Before cleaning your window air conditioning unit, you need to ensure that it’s unplugged. This will keep you safe and prevent the machine from short-circuiting or overloading itself. Turn off the switch on the wall or power strip, and then unplug it from the socket. Also, ensure that the cord is hanging over any edges where it can be tripped on.

4. Remove the AC from the Window

Most window AC units are easy to remove. They usually come with a bracket that holds them in place. You should unplug the heating and cooling unit from the power source and remove it from the window by lifting and pulling it out of the slot. Ensure all screws are tightly secured before proceeding, as you might drop or tilt your unit when trying to clean it.

5. Remove the Front Panel

The front panel of your window air conditioning unit is where all the filters are located. Therefore, it’s necessary to detach and remove it. This will ensure that you can access other parts of the machine, such as the condenser coils, fan blades, and evaporator coils that need a thorough cleaning. To do this, start by removing the screws that hold the panel in place. Then, depending on your AC unit model, you can either snap or pry the panel off.

6. Remove and Clean the Filters

When cleaning your window air conditioning unit, the first thing you should do is remove the filters and clean them. You can use a brush or a vacuum cleaner to remove all the dirt and debris that might have accumulated on them. If they’re too dirty, you can replace them with new ones. After cleaning or replacing the filters, reattach the front panel.

7. Clean the Evaporator Coils

The evaporator coils are strategically located behind the front panel of your window air conditioning unit. Evaporator coils are usually responsible for absorbing heat from the air inside the room and transferring it to the outside air. To clean evaporator coils, you’ll need a cleaning solution specifically designed for this process. Don’t use bleach or other cleaners, as they can damage some components of your air conditioning unit. After applying the solution, allow it to soak for a few minutes, and then wipe it off with a clean, soft cloth.

8. Clean the Condenser Coils

The condenser coils are also located on the backside of your window air conditioning unit. They help to remove heat from the air that passes through them. You should use a cleaning solution and a brush to get rid of dirt, grime, and other types of debris that might’ve collected on the condenser coils.

9. Clean the Fan Blades

The fan blades are also located behind the front panel of your window air conditioning unit. They help to move air around your room. Therefore, you need to clean them thoroughly before putting the unit back in place. Use a soft cloth to get rid of dirt and debris without damaging the fan blades.

10. Remove Moisture From the Unit

One of the common issues with window air conditioning units is that they can develop mold and mildew. This is usually caused by moisture that gets into the unit. You can use a hairdryer or soft cloth to remove this moisture to wipe it away. A wet vacuum cleaner can also help to quickly remove the moisture and prevent mold or mildew from forming.

11. Use a Mold Cleaner

If you find that mold or mildew has already formed on your window air conditioning unit, you should use a mold cleaner. Be sure to adhere to all the instructions on the cleaner and don’t use more than is necessary. Mold has always been a problem for window air conditioners since they’re constantly exposed to moisture.

12. Dry Your AC Unit Thoroughly

Once you’ve scrubbed and cleaned your window air conditioning unit, it’s essential to dry it thoroughly. Any moisture left on the unit can lead to mold or mildew growth. You can use a towel or cloth to dry the exterior and interior of the unit. You can also use a hairdryer to eliminate any moisture trapped inside the unit.

13. Spray a Mold Inhibitor

Once your window air conditioning unit is completely dry, you can spray a mold inhibitor on it. This will help to remove mildew from growing in the future. There are many different types of mold inhibitors available on the market. Make sure to choose one that’s specifically designed for air conditioners.

14. Reassemble and Reinstall Your Unit

Once you’ve cleaned your window air conditioning unit, you need to reassemble and reinstall it. Ensure that all the pieces go back into place properly so that the AC unit will function as efficiently as possible. Once you’ve reinstalled the unit, turn it on and allow it to run for a few minutes to make sure that everything is working correctly.


DIY air conditioner cleaning is something most homeowners can do. By following the steps discussed above, you’ll be able to easily clean your AC unit and enhance its efficiency. However, some people still prefer to work with a professional company to conduct air conditioning unit cleaning. You can contact the team at Christian Brothers for effective AC cleaning. We’re professional AC experts in Arizona. We also offer air conditioner repair, electrical repair, and plumbing services.

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